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A Bend in the River
V.S. Naipaul
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1979



refered to by:
Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad

Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe


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Reminiscent of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness A Bend in the River chronicles both an internal journey and a physical trek into the heart of Africa as it explores the themes of personal exile and political and individual corruption. It expresses Naipaul's skepticism about the ability of newly decolonized nations to forge independent and politically viable identities. The narrator, Salim, a Muslim Indian merchant, opens a store in a sleepy small town at a bend in the river (ostensibly the Congo River). The town's inhabitants include a Belgian priest, a witch and her son Ferdinand, and a white intellectual named Raymond and his elegant wife Yvette. The president of the new country is a demagogue called the Big Man who hires Raymond as his speechwriter. Salim loses control of his store to the commercially inexperienced Citizen Theotime, who hires Salim to manage it. Gradually the town's veneer of civilization cracks, and chaos and corruption reign.

(from: Merriam Webster Encyclopedia of Literature)

bookweb    
BOOKS BY V.S. NAIPAUL:

A House for Mr Biswas
1961
Naipaul follows the fortunes of Mr Biswas, the outsider who refuses to conform to the customs of his grander in-laws whose house he lives in. Finally finding a house of his own, he triumphs over the smaller minds who would repress him.
Miguel Street
1959
Life in Trinidad is described through the eyes of a 'street rab' in Miguel Street. The happy-go-lucky community abounds in eccentric characters.
A Bend in the River
1979
In an African country that has suffered revolution and civil war and that is headed by a man of almost insane energy and crudity, one restless, reflective, and isolated villager and his friends uneasily submit to the tide of events.
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