Salman Rushdie and V. S. Naipaul
Diaspora that we were, we became static and in this stasis relapsed
into mythology, initially through epic remembrance of the Indian
past and subsequently through Bombay cinema. Nor did our lives in
the end find an alternative vitality through the postcolonial celebration of the hybrid; rather we remained half and half. 1
Visit the University of London Library located at Senate House,
Bloomsbury, and the problem of classifying authors by ethnicity becomes immediately apparent. A researcher wanting
to consult work on Salman
not uniformly indulge a patriotic racism and imperial nostalgia or play
to persistent racial stereotypes of non-white peoples in England. His
conservatism, too, is characterised by deeply conflicted attitudes to
liberal principles with respect to racial issues and histories.
V. S. Naipaul, ‘Our universal
Caribbean migration to Britain brought many new things—new music, new foods, new styles. It brought new ways of thinking too. This book explores the intellectual ideas that the West Indians brought with them to Britain. It shows that, for more than a century, West Indians living in Britain developed a dazzling intellectual critique of the codes of Imperial Britain. Chapters discuss the influence of, amongst others, C. L. R. James, Una Marson, George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Claude McKay and V. S. Naipaul. The contributors draw from many different disciplines to bring alive the thought and personalities of the figures they discuss, providing a picture of intellectual developments in Britain from which we can still learn much. The introduction argues that the recovery of this Caribbean past, on the home territory of Britain itself, reveals much about the prospects of multiracial Britain.
Smith’s White Teeth (2000) or Marion Molteno’s ‘In Her Mother’s
House’ (1987), which are not written by authors of BritishAsian ethnicity, but nevertheless address issues related to this
cultural background.54 The book is structured to trace a chronology, though not necessarily a linear development. Chapter
1 explores the transition between migrant and British-born/
raised positioning through the figures of V. S. Naipaul and
Salman Rushdie, arguing that the common reading of their liminal positioning can be reconsidered to emphasise the transition
That summer of 2010, waiting for a flight, Kureishi noticed the woman seated next to him en route to the same event in Istanbul reading a P.G. Wodehouse novel. Amused, he held up his own Jeeves and Wooster to the imperious Lady Nadira Naipaul. Lively discussions over their cherished Wodehouse heightened their rapport. He had known Nadira, who was just a year older than him, since 1996, when at 43 she had married 64-year-old V.S. Naipaul, who went on to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. The Naipauls, Stephen Frears and Kureishi
increased. Mosques were attacked. Fearmongering – and laments about ‘normal’ Muslims doing nothing to stop jihadist actions – saturated the media and generated debates about Islam and British Muslims’ incompatibility with modern, liberal values. Assessments put forward by writers from V.S. Naipaul to Christopher Hitchens of ‘the Muslim’ as anti-rational, anti-modern, accelerated and intensified. In 2001 Naipaul claimed the effects of Islam were ‘worse’ than colonialism.
Once again, Islamic faith became synonymous with
was for them
the source of all things, the originating and total reality’. 45 But this
ignores the ambivalence present in the work of writers such as VS.
Naipaul. The burden of empire weighs heavily in his autobiographical
book The Enigma of Arrival . Naipaul is extremely conscious that
the Wiltshire cottage he is renting is both a product of imperial
acquisition and an expression of imperial self
Black Power and the transformation of the Caribbean Artists Movement
the following week
on the programme. Providing a platform for aspiring writers from Sam
Selvon to George Lamming, V.S. Naipaul, Edgar Mittelholzer, Michael
Anthony, Jan Carew, Edward Brathwaite and Andrew Salkey, and even
broadcasting the work of the young Stuart Hall, just then beginning
his academic career at Oxford, Caribbean Voices was formative
in the careers of a
author of fiction . As my book South Asian Writers in Twentieth-Century Britain shows, the demarcation of the role of writers of colour as native informants constrained to non - fiction has a long history in white-dominated publishing. The situation was especially difficult for mid-century South Asian anglophone fictional writers. There was no equivalent of the pioneering BBC Radio programme Caribbean Voices that provided a platform, financial reward and critical appraisal for fledgling Caribbean novelists Sam Selvon, V.S. Naipaul and George Lamming. In any
. Six months after Shanoo's death, ‘perhaps still on the look-out for fathers’ and literary mentors, he wrote to V.S. Naipaul ( MEAHH 169). Soon afterwards he visited the Salisbury home that the older writer shared with his wife Pat. As Patrick French observes in his biography of Naipaul, his subject gave ‘unexpected hospitality to Hanif Kureishi’ in June 1992. Over cake and Indian champagne, the younger author received advice on writing and how to look after his bad back.
Afterwards in his typed thank you letter