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."