V. S. Naipaul

V. S. Naipaul was a Nobel Prize-winning writer known for his novels focusing on the legacies of the British Empire's colonialism. He was born in Trinidad in 1932 and later moved to England, where he began his writing career. His works include 'A House for Mr Biswas,' 'In a Free State,' and 'A Bend in the River.' Naipaul's writing is celebrated for its incisive narratives and deep psychological insights, though it has also been critiqued for its controversial views on post-colonial societies. He passed away in 2018.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. A House for Mr. Biswas

    The novel narrates the life of Mr. Biswas, a man of Indian descent living in Trinidad, who struggles against poverty and adversity to achieve personal independence and to build a home for himself and his family. Born into a poor family and married into an oppressive one, he constantly strives for autonomy and identity against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad. His dream of owning his own house becomes a symbol of his desire for self-determination and respect in a society that often denies him both.

    The 204th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. A Bend in the River

    "A Bend in the River" is a novel that follows an Indian man, Salim, who moves from the East Coast of Africa to the heart of the continent to open a store in a small, remote town at a bend in the river. The book explores the changes that occur in the town as it evolves from a sleepy outpost to a bustling city. It also delves into Salim's personal struggles and the challenges he faces in adapting to a rapidly changing society, all set against the backdrop of post-colonial Africa.

    The 335th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. In a Free State

    "In a Free State" is a collection of three short stories and a prologue and epilogue, portraying the realities of post-colonial life and the struggles of individuals caught between their native culture and the imposed Western values. The narratives span across India, Egypt, Washington D.C., and Africa, each exploring the themes of displacement, identity crisis, and cultural conflict. The book provides a profound examination of the human condition, the concept of freedom, and the complexities of power dynamics in a post-colonial world.

    The 1470th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Enigma of Arrival

    The novel is a semi-autobiographical work that explores the life of an unnamed protagonist who migrates from the Caribbean to rural England. As he grapples with feelings of alienation and displacement, he undergoes a profound personal transformation. He observes the slow decay of the English countryside and the changing lives of those around him, which mirror his own internal changes. The narrative is a complex exploration of themes such as identity, belonging, and the passage of time.

    The 3270th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Guerrillas

    "Guerrillas" is a novel set on a Caribbean island, exploring themes of race, politics, and power. The plot follows a group of characters, including a disillusioned Englishwoman, a struggling black activist, and a charismatic but dangerous mixed-race man who leads a band of guerilla fighters. As the tension and violence escalate, the novel delves into the complexities of post-colonial society and the struggle for identity and self-determination.

    The 3625th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. An Area Of Darkness

    The book is a travelogue that delves into the author's journey through India, a country that is both his ancestral homeland and a place of discovery for him. Through a series of vivid observations and encounters, the narrative explores the complexities, contradictions, and profound cultural richness of India. The author grapples with the legacies of colonialism, the challenges of modernity, and his own personal search for identity. The text is characterized by its introspective and often critical perspective, offering a portrait of a nation at a crossroads and a writer's quest to understand his own heritage.

    The 5517th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. A Way In The World

    "A Way in the World" is a narrative that blends fiction with historical analysis, presenting a series of interconnected stories that explore the themes of identity, colonialism, and the complex interplay between personal history and larger historical forces. Set primarily in the Caribbean, the book weaves together the lives of a diverse cast of characters, from ambitious politicians and struggling writers to colonial administrators and ordinary citizens, each navigating the turbulent waters of cultural and political change. Through these stories, the narrative delves into the legacies of empire and the enduring impact of colonialism on individual lives and national identities.

    The 8415th Greatest Book of All Time