A House for Mr. BiswasBook - 1983
The book that turned the gentle satirist of the Caribbean into a major literary figure, in a hardcover edition with an introduction by Karl Miller.
His birth ill-omened, his life dominated by fitful, comic struggles and resentful truces with those to whom he is obligated, Mr. Mohun Biswas of Trinidad, toward the end of his forty-sixth year on earth, triumphantly purchases his own house and becomes his own man. Around this supremely simple story, V. S. Naipaul builds one of the few virtually perfect novels in our language, a book that is--in the balance struck between its small incidents and its large, overarching patterns, in the ironic beauty of its prose--at once compelling, mysterious, and classical. It is also one of the few novels in any language that transcned their own genre. By the end of A House for Mr. Biswas we are reading not only a tragicomic masterpiece of social manners in a postcolonial society but a tremendous parable about the individual self in its enslavement to time and change, and in its search for freedom.