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Between Father and Son: Family Letters

by Naipaul, V. S. A Aitken, Gillon

  • ISBN: 9780375407307
  • ISBN10: 0375407308

Between Father and Son: Family Letters

by Naipaul, V. S. A Aitken, Gillon

  • List Price: $26.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
  • Publish date: 01/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780375407307
  • ISBN10: 0375407308
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Description: In 1948, at the age of 18, V.S. Naipaul left home on a scholarship furnished by the government of Trinidad. Following his first airplane ride, and a two-week journey by steamer, he found himself in Oxford, England, a world that could not have been more unlike the one he longed to escape, the one to which he would never really return.

This startling collection of letters between the young Naipaul and his family, written while he was up at Oxford, allow us, as nothing previously published has, to enter the intimacy of his formative years. It is a moving story of family members oceans apart, clinging to one another against the sadness of dislocation and isolation: the young Naipaul, desperate not for a degree but to become a writer; his beloved sister Kamla, anxious and bewildered, away at school in India; and his melancholy father, the seeds of whose thwarted aspirations as a writer would bear fruit in the singular achievement of his son. Of him, Naipaul would write, "what we are, he has made us."

Alongside this poignant family drama is the tale of a young man out in the world, seeing London and Paris, longing for love, for success and recognition, suffering material want of his own, powerless to assuage that of his loved ones. And it is also the story of one writer's beginnings, ending triumphantly with the publication of his first novel, as we witness the flowering of one of the great literary geniuses of the century.

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