Beyond the Dragon's Mouth (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
Throughout his career, Shiva Naipaul, who died of a heart attack at the age of forty shortly after the appearance of this book, was overshadowed by his older brother, the novelist V. S. Naipaul. Born and reared in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Shiva Naipaul was admitted to prestigious Queen’s Royal College, from which, at the age of eighteen, he won a scholarship to read philosophy at Oxford University. He traveled extensively in Europe and the Third World countries on his many journalistic assignments and wrote both fiction and nonfiction based on his impressions. As a writer, his mission was to expose the “shabbiness and emptiness of the colonial past” and its resultant cultural rootlessness. He is best known for his novels Fireflies (1970) and The Chip-Chip Gatherers (1973), set in Trinidad, and Love and Death in a Hot Country (1984), set in South America, and his two nonfiction books, North and South: An African Journey (1979) and Journey to Nowhere: A New World Tragedy (1981), on the Jonestown mass suicide.
His last book, Beyond the Dragon’s Mouth: Stories and Pieces, is a collection of short fiction and nonfiction ranging from 1969 to 1984; all of the pieces collected here have been previously published in journals and anthologies. The ironic juxtaposition of his life, the fiction he created out of it, and his essays on political corruption and social decay is reminiscent of Doris Lessing’s...
(The entire section is 2035 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
Booklist. LXXXI, February 1, 1985, p. 753.
Books and Bookmen. February, 1985, p. 33.
Guardian Weekly. CXXXIII, October 20, 1985, p. 21.
Kirkus Reviews. LIII, January 15, 1985, p. 82.
Library Journal. CX, February 15, 1985, p. 169.
Los Angeles Times. April 2, 1985, V, p. 6.
The New Republic. CXCIII, August 26, 1985, p. 32.
New Statesman. CVIII, October 26, 1985, p. 33.
The New York Times Book Review. XC, March 24, 1985, p. 13.
The Observer. October 14, 1984, p. 25.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXVII, February 22, 1985, p. 146.
Washington Post Book World. XV, March 24, 1985, p. 8.
(The entire section is 66 words.)