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In a Free State

In a Free State

In the beginning it is just a car trip through Africa. Two English people – Bobby, a civil servant with a guilty appetite for African boys, and Linda, a supercilious “compound wife” – are driving back to their enclave after a stay in the capital.

But in between lies the landscape of an unnamed country whose squalor and ethnic bloodletting suggest Idi Amin’s Uganda. And the farther Naipaul’s protagonists travel into it, the more they find themselves crossing the line that separates privileged outsiders from horrified victims.

Alongside this Conradian tour de force are four incisive portraits of men seeking liberation far from home.

About the Author

Sir V S Naipaul

Sir V S Naipaul was born in Chaguanas, Trinidad, in August 1932. His novels include The Mimic Men (1967), winner of the 1968 WH Smith Literary Award, In a Free State (1971), which won the Booker Prize for Fiction.

V S Naipaul was knighted in 1989. He was awarded the David Cohen British Literature Prize by the Arts Council of England in 1993 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. He holds honorary doctorates from Cambridge University and Columbia University in New York, and honorary degrees from the universities of Cambridge, London and Oxford. He has also been nominated for the Man Booker International Prize 2009. 

Naipaul lives in Wiltshire, England.