V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and non-fiction and the recipient of numerous honours, including the Nobel Prize in 2001, the Booker Prize in 1971, and a knighthood for services to literature in 1990. He lives in Wiltshire, England.
In 1975, at the height of Indira Gandhi?s Emergency, V. S. Naipaul returned to India, the country his ancestors had left one hundred years before. Out of that journey he produced this concise masterpiece of journalism and cultural analysis, a vibrant, defiantly unsentimental portrait of a society traumatized by repeated foreign invasions and immured in a mythic vision of its past. Drawing on novels, news reports, and political memoirs -- but most of all on his conversations with ordinary Indians, from princes to engineers and feudal village autocrats -- Naipaul captures India?s manifold complexities.