In this masterpiece of travel writing first published in 1962, V. S. Naipaul returned to Trinidad, his country of origin, and explored four adjacent societies.
In The Middle Passage, Naipaul ventures into a Trinidad slum so insalubrious that the locals call it the Gaza Strip. He follows a racially charged election campaign in British Guiana (now Guyana) and marvels at the Gallic pretension of Martinique society, which maintains the fiction that its roads are extensions of France’s routes nationales. He relates the ghastly episodes of the region’s colonial past and shows how they continue to inform its language, politics, and values. The result is a work of novelistic vividness and dazzling perspicacity that displays Naipaul at the peak of his powers.
“The coolest literary eye and the most lucid prose we have.”–The New York Times Book Review
“Belongs in the same category of travel writing as Lawrence’s books on Italy, Greene’s on West Africa, and Pritchett’s on Spain.”–New Statesman
“Naipaul travels with the artist’s eye and ear and his observations are sharply discerning.”–Evelyn Waugh