In a Free State
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With an introduction by publisher and acclaimed author Robert McCrum.
Winner of the Booker Prize 1971 and nominated for the Golden Man Booker Prize in 2018.
A young Indian servant in Washington. An Asian West Indian in London. Both are far from home and both are desperately trying to build a new life in a deeply unfamiliar world. In between them lies the landscape of an unnamed country, a brutal place reminiscent of Idi Amin's Uganda. This central story is about those who once thought of Africa as liberating, but now find themselves in an increasingly harsher reality.
Winner of the Booker Prize in 1971, In a Free State is one of Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul's many towering literary achievements. It is a story of the desperation and heartbreak we find in those who are displaced and who try, often in vain, to make a home in their new surroundings. Frightening, disquieting and merciless, this is one of Sir Naipaul's greatest novels: fraught but full of pity.
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 lived with his wife Nadira and cat Augustus in Wiltshire, and died in 2018.