V. S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

John Parras (William Paterson University)
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V. S. Naipaul's

A Bend in the River

was first published in 1979, after Naipaul had firmly established his considerable reputation—one that would lead to the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. Treating such topics as the cultural interdependence of Africa and Europe, the influence of ideology and ethnicity on an individual's identity, and the complexities of African nationhood following independence from Belgian colonial rule, the novel grapples with weighty post-colonial themes in an undaunted manner for which Naipaul has been both praised and bitterly criticized.

The novel is set in Zaire (currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo) during the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a period of great social and political upheaval in the Congo. However, though

1553 words

Citation: Parras, John. "A Bend in the River". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 October 2003 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7260, accessed 30 May 2024.]

7260 A Bend in the River 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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