Other literary forms
V. S. Naipaul (ni-POL) is a rarity among writers in that he enjoys equal recognition for his novels and for his works of nonfiction. Indeed, had Naipaul never published a novel, his works of nonfiction would in themselves be sufficient to ensure his reputation as a major writer. As a writer of nonfiction, Naipaul has specialized in a distinctive blend of travelogue, reportage, and autobiography, offering penetrating accounts of regions as diverse as his native Trinidad, India (the home of his ancestors and the subject of several of his books), Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the American South.
Naipaul is a prolific writer, and, as a journalist and fiction editor for the New Statesman, he wrote a considerable number of articles, book reviews, and short stories for a variety of magazines in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Most of these have not been collected in any form, but A Flag on the Island (1967) contains some of Naipaul’s stories on the impact of Christianity on Hindus, culture clashes between boardinghouse tenants and owners, and even the cleverness of West Indian business practices. Literary Occasions (2003) collects his literary essays and reviews.