A Bend in the River

A Bend in the River

Book - 1979
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First published in 1979, A Bend in the River is a profound and richly observed novel of the politics and society of postcolonial Africa. Salim, a young Indian man, moves to a town on a bend in the river of a recently independent nation. As Salim strives to establish his business, he comes to be closely involved with the fluid and dangerous politics of the newly created state, the remnants of the old regime clashing inevitably with the new. "Naipaul's novels are about the struggle for existence in a world still colonial despite the breakup of the old Western empires," wrote Alfred Kazin. A Bend in the River is demonstration of V. S. Naipaul's status as one of the world's best novelists. The New York Times Book Review noted: "For sheer abundance of talent there can hardly be a writer alive who surpasses V. S. Naipaul." Elizabeth Hardwick, who has provided a The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with afford- able hardbound editions of impor- tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy- fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch- bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau- gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices. For a complete list of titles, see the inside of the jacketnew Introduction for this Modern Library edition, has said, "The sweep of Naipaul's imagination, the brilliant fictional frame that expresses it, are in my view without equal today."
Publisher: New York : Knopf ; distributed by Random House, 1979
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780394505732
Branch Call Number: F Nai


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samutavi Aug 15, 2013

The plight of this character was so sad to me. He is disconnected from everything and everyone. His existence is so inconsequential that you can imagine he does not even leave footprints. His ineffectiveness is crushing and yet the story is so beautiful at the same time. Sometimes the absence of all that you yearn for is a reminder of how wonderful it is to yearn for something. Does that make sense?

Ansel1 Aug 06, 2012

Naipaul has an easy, flowing writing style. I lived in Africa for a couple of years and his descriptions of culturally based actions and events are, by my account anyway, well perceived.

Oct 24, 2009

VS Naipaul's classic and much-lauded novel about social upheaval in an unnamed African nation in the 1970s is simultaneously engrossing and chilling. Told from the point of view of an ethnic Indian man who was raised and lives in Africa, the story deals with many layers of dispossession and alienation amongst its individual characters and ethnic and social groups as they struggle amidst the tides of and enticements of modernity and the countering tides of history and tradition. Characters deal with these conflicting tides in varying states of paralysis, weariness and wariness. Even those who embark hopefully on personal or business relationships to try to further themselves and thrive in shifting social milieus all seem to be stymied and even crushed in rapid succession. All optimism seems to wane or is more violently extinguished as everyone either flees, goes into hiding or at very least "accepts new encumbrances". Naipaul's book is pointed and instructive, but not uplifting.


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