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The Mimic Men: A Novelby V.S. Naipaul
Synopses & Reviews
A profound novel of cultural displacement, The Mimic Men masterfully evokes a colonial man’s experience in a postcolonial world.
Born of Indian heritage and raised on a British-dependent Caribbean island, Ralph Singh has retired to suburban London, writing his memoirs as a means to impose order on a chaotic existence. His memories lead him to recognize the paradox of his childhood during which he secretly fantasized about a heroic India, yet changed his name from Ranjit Kripalsingh. As he assesses his short-lived marriage to an ostentatious white woman, Singh realizes what has kept him from becoming a proper Englishman. But it is the return home and his subsequent immersion in the roiling political atmosphere of a newly self-governed nation that ultimately provide Singh with the necessary insight to discover the crux of his disillusionment.
Forty-year-old Ralph Singh, exiled in disgrace from his Caribbean home island, recalls, in a shoddy London boarding house, the too-large and too-fast events that proved beyond his control and destroyed his political career. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
About the Author
\V. S. Naipaul’s new novel, Half a Life, will be published by Knopf in fall 2001. Naipaul lives in Wiltshire, England.
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