Githa Hariharan


On receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, V.S. Naipaul responded by paying tribute to England, '(his) home', and India, 'the home of (his) ancestors' {The Guardian 2001). Oddly enough, Trinidad does not merit a mention in Naipaul's tribute — though he was born and grew up in Trinidad, and though it is the home of his most admired early work such as The Mystic Masseur (1957), Miguel Street (1959) and A House for Mr Biswas (1961). Or perhaps it is not so odd, considering Naipaul has written, 'I knew Trinidad to be unimportant, uncreative, cynical', with 'an indifference to virtue as well as vice' (1962 43, 58). Yet this is especially poignant, considering that in the same essay, Naipaul notes; 'Living in a borrowed culture, the West Indian, more than most, needs writers to tell him who he is and where he stands' (1962 73).



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.