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Trinidad’s First Family of Literature

Written by Anu Kumar for Economic & Political Weekly (India) on Saturday, August 18, 2018

VS [Naipaul]’s appearances impart to the book some of its interesting contradictions and complexities, its surprising revelations. Readers looking for more “Naipaullia” might find in this book, details on how VS, the writer, was made, how he subsequently “unmade” himself from his earlier avatar, during his years at Oxford University, and then his writing, the finest of which, as many writers have said, has been about the Caribbean. Savi’s book is also, in some senses, about how writers are made, their role within the family, how families sustain them and secure for them a necessary cocoon of comfort and security, giving in the process, the very isolation writers seek and need.

[ . . . ]

How a family’s fortunes can change over a generation, how a new one emerges from the shadow of the older and shapes itself in a different and yet symbiotic way, is a process that almost parallels how a nation shapes itself over history.

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This is a review of The Naipauls of Nepaul Street

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