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
V.S. NAIPAUL was born in Trinidad in 1932. He came to England on a scholarship in 1950. He spent four years at University College, Oxford, and began to write, in London, in 1954. He pursued no other profession.
 
His novels include A House for Mr Biswas, The Mimic Men, Guerrillas, A Bend in the River, and The Enigma of Arrival. In 1971 he was awarded the Booker Prize for In a Free State. His works of nonfiction, equally acclaimed, include Among the Believers, Beyond Belief, The Masque of Africa, and a trio of books about India: An Area of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization and India: A Million Mutinies Now.
 
In 1990, V.S. Naipaul received a knighthood for services to literature; in 1993, he was the first recipient of the David Cohen British Literature Prize. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. He died in 2018. View titles by V. S. Naipaul
“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

“Where earlier travelers enthused or recoiled, Mr. Naipaul explains. His tone is critical but humane, and he tempers his inevitable indignation with an admirable sense of comedy.” —The Observer

“Dazzling reportorial skills and a sharp historical mind.” —The New York Times

About

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

Author

V.S. NAIPAUL was born in Trinidad in 1932. He came to England on a scholarship in 1950. He spent four years at University College, Oxford, and began to write, in London, in 1954. He pursued no other profession.
 
His novels include A House for Mr Biswas, The Mimic Men, Guerrillas, A Bend in the River, and The Enigma of Arrival. In 1971 he was awarded the Booker Prize for In a Free State. His works of nonfiction, equally acclaimed, include Among the Believers, Beyond Belief, The Masque of Africa, and a trio of books about India: An Area of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization and India: A Million Mutinies Now.
 
In 1990, V.S. Naipaul received a knighthood for services to literature; in 1993, he was the first recipient of the David Cohen British Literature Prize. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. He died in 2018. View titles by V. S. Naipaul

Praise

“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

“Where earlier travelers enthused or recoiled, Mr. Naipaul explains. His tone is critical but humane, and he tempers his inevitable indignation with an admirable sense of comedy.” —The Observer

“Dazzling reportorial skills and a sharp historical mind.” —The New York Times

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