The Enigma of Arrival


By V. S. Naipaul

cover image of The Enigma of Arrival

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The Nobel Prize-winning author distills his wide experience of countries and peoples into a moving account of the rites of passage endured by all people and all communities undergoing change or decay. • "Naipaul's finest work." —Chicago Tribune

"A subtly incisive self-reckoning." —The Washington Post Book World
The story of a writer’s singular journey – from one place to another, and from one state of mind to another. At the midpoint of the century, the narrator leaves the British colony of Trinidad and comes to the ancient countryside of England. And from within the story of this journey – of departure and arrival, alienation and familiarity, home and homelessness – the writer reveals how, cut off from his “first” life in Trinidad, he enters a “second childhood of seeing and learning.”
Clearly autobiographical, yet woven through with remarkable invention, The Enigma of Arrival is as rich and complex as any novel we have had from this exceptional writer.
"The conclusion is both heart-breaking and bracing: the only antidote to destruction—of dreams, of reality—is remembering. As eloquently as anyone now writing, Naipaul remembers." —Time
"Far and away the most curious novel I've read in a long time, and maybe the most hypnotic book I've ever read." —St. Petersburg Times
The Enigma of Arrival