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Tag: naipaul

  • Good old writers

    Who says old geezers can’t write? Some of them die with the sharpest minds. That’s certainly true of the literary critic Frank Kermode, who has just died at the age of 90. Reading about his death yesterday, I turned to his essays published in the London Review of Books. You can’t tell his age from […]

  • Naipaul and his women

    The World Is What It Is by Patrick French The book ends with Naipaul in tears leaning against a taxi cab after scattering the ashes of his wife, Pat, in a wood before returning to his home in Wiltshire. He sang the hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful, he told his biographer, Patrick French, who […]

  • Writing on sex and death at 91

    Diana Athill is 91 years old and won the 2008 Costa prize for biography for her memoir, Somewhere Towards The End, where she talks about her love affairs, her work as a book editor, and what it means to be growing old. She helped Andre Deutsch – who was briefly her lover — establish his […]

  • Naipaul’s seven rules for aspiring writers

    VS Naipaul advised aspiring writers to practise what he had learnt from his father, says Patrick French in his biography of Naipaul, The World Is What It Is.  When the Indian website Tehelka asked Naipaul to suggest some rules for aspiring writers, this was the advice he gave: Do not write long sentences. A sentence […]

  • Naipaul and The Enigma of Arrival

    Reviewing Patrick French’s biography of Naipaul in the Times Literary Supplement, AN Wilson is absolutely right when he says: Naipaul is one of the best journalists; The Enigma of Arrival is a masterpiece. The Enigma bored me when I first read it many years ago, but now I realise how good it is. Just don’t […]

  • Naipaul interviewed

    The Observer has an interview with Naipaul today. It begins with a delicious anecdote. When the head of the Swedish Academy called him at his home in England in October 2001 to tell him he had won the Nobel Prize, his wife picked up the phone and said he could not be disturbed: he was […]

  • Naipaul on “the last great Indian kingdom”

    I am reading William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns after finishing VS Naipaul’s Magic Seeds. The two books couldn’t be more different. Dalrymple’s book is a delightful read, rich in anecdotes about modern Delhi and loving evocations of its past. Dalrymple admires the Muslims who ruled Delhi for centuries for their beautiful buildings, their love of […]

  • Paul Theroux, Singapore and Naipaul

    Paul Theroux is in Singapore, planning to write a sequel to The Great Railway Bazaar, reported The Straits Times yesterday. I can’t recall what he wrote about Singapore in his famous book about the various trains he rode on an epic journey from London to Tokyo and back. I was more interested then in what […]

  • Pinter on Pinter

    “I have often been asked how my plays come about. I cannot say. Nor can I ever sum up my plays, except to say that this is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did. “Most of the plays are engendered by a line, a word or an image. The given […]