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Half a Life

by V.S. Naipaul

  • ISBN: 9780375407376
  • ISBN10: 0375407375

Half a Life

by V.S. Naipaul

  • List Price: $24.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Edition: 1
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Publish date: 10/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375407376
  • ISBN10: 0375407375
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Description: Willy Chandran's father was a man at odds with the world -- seeking greatness in the confining space that his class and caste dictated while political conflict in pre-Partition India raged around him. In defiance of his heritage he married a woman of a lower caste but soon came to loathe the very sight of her. From this unhappy union, Willy and his sister were born, both disdained by their father.

It is from here that Half A Life takes off as we follow Willy Chandran's journey to escape his unhappy past and discover and discover an identity of his own. He travels to England, where he is first exposed to immigrant life in post-war London -- hanging around dingy West End clubs and pathetically seeking out meaningless sexual gratification. In the course of his exertions to become a writer he is drawn into the circles of the BBC and literary London, where he meets pompous men keen for sexual conquests of their own. But deep within persists a sense of unease until he meets a girl from a Portuguese African colony, who offers him at last what he believes to be a chance for salvation.

The final third of the book is set in this colony populated by a series of mesmerizing characters desperately living out the last doomed days of colonialism. Races, identities and hopes merge as Willy tries to find a place for himself, only to face a final devastating realization.

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