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 …
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 29 March 2023.]