V. S. Naipaul: A House for Mr. Biswas (2636 words)


Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul’s semi-autobiographical novel A House for Mr. Biswas (1961) is one of the best novels of the 20th century and its author’s most celebrated work of fiction. The critical reception of the novel since its publication suggests that, through his titular protagonist Mr. Biswas, an Indo-Trinidadian man who seeks to acquire a house of his own, Naipaul explores two central and mutually related problems of the colonial predicament: the problem of spatial destitution of the colonial subject, and the defiance of that destitution through writing as a form of self-possession. Housing and writing both serve to emphasize Mr. Biswas’s need for autonomy and self-ownership, both of which ultimately fail.<…

Citation: Radovic, Stanka. "A House for Mr. Biswas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 June 2014 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7159, accessed 18 February 2020.]

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