The Mimic Men

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Vintage Books, 2001 - Fiction - 300 pages
3 Reviews
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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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Dorritt - LibraryThing

On the surface this is the memoir of a disgraced former colonial minister, Ralph Singh, exiled from the island country he briefly ruled and now living in a run-down hotel in London. But perhaps it’s ... Read full review

THE MIMIC MEN: A Novel

User Review  - Kirkus

Naipaul's style is as distinctive as a fingerprint. At once direct of phrase and elusive of substance, it is exactly suited to the character he portrays. Singh, the narrator, is a colonial politician ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
7
Section 2
14
Section 3
43
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

V.S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He came to England on a scholarship in 1950. He spent four years at University College, Oxford, and began to write, in London, in 1954. He pursued no other profession.

His novels include A House for Mr Biswas, The Mimic Men, Guerrillas, A Bend in the River, and The Enigma of Arrival. In 1971 he was awarded the Booker Prize for In a Free State. His works of nonfiction, equally acclaimed, include Among the Believers, Beyond Belief, The Masque of Africa, and a trio of books about India: An Area of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization and India: A Million Mutinies Now.

In 1990, V.S. Naipaul received a knighthood for services to literature; in 1993, he was the first recipient of the David Cohen British Literature Prize. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. He lived with his wife Nadira and cat Augustus in Wiltshire, and died in 2018.

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