There’s something wonderful about reading books written in your local setting. You learn a lot about your past, culture and traditions. These are my reads for May: A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul and The Year in San Fernando by Michael Anthony.
“The Nobel Prize winner’s first great novel” (Barack Obama), A House for Mr. Biswas is an unforgettable story inspired by Naipaul’s father that has been hailed as one of the twentieth century’s finest novels.
In his forty-six short years, Mr. Mohun Biswas has been fighting against destiny to achieve some semblance of independence, only to face a lifetime of calamity. Shuttled from one residence to another after the drowning death of his father, for which he is inadvertently responsible, Mr. Biswas yearns for a place he can call home. But when he marries into the domineering Tulsi family on whom he indignantly becomes dependent, Mr. Biswas embarks on an arduous– and endless–struggle to weaken their hold over him and purchase a house of his own. A heartrending, dark comedy of manners, A House for Mr. Biswas masterfully evokes a man’s quest for autonomy against an emblematic post-colonial canvas.
Twelve-year-old Francis, the son of a very poor widow living in a Trinidadian village, is given the chance to go to San Fernando to work as a servant companion. It seems a great opportunity, but Francis has never seen a town, or been away from his family, and he is very afraid.”
The Year in San Fernando (1965) is a semi-autobiographical, first-person narrative of a twelve-year-old boy’s experiences of a year in the city. It is Michael Anthony’s first published novel, and one of his most successful.
What’s on your TBR this month?