Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s magnificent Magic Seeds continues the story of Willie Chandran, the perennially dissatisfied and self-destructively naive protagonist of his bestselling Half a Life .
Having left a wife and a livelihood in Africa, Willie is persuaded to return to his native India to join an underground movement on behalf of its oppressed lower castes. Instead he finds himself in the company of dilettantes and psychopaths, relentlessly hunted by police and spurned by the people he means to liberate. But this is only one stop in a quest for authenticity that takes in all the fanaticism and folly of the postmodern era. Moving with dreamlike swiftness from guerrilla encampment to prison cell, from the squalor of rural India to the glut and moral desolation of 1980s London, Magic Seeds is a novel of oracular power, dazzling in its economy and unblinking in its observations.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Magic Seeds|
|Release Date: 02-10-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Group E-Books|
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|Parent title||Magic Seeds|
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It had begun many years before, in Berlin. Another world. He was living there in a temporary, half-and-half way with his sister Sarojini. After Africa it had been a great refreshment, this new kind of protected life, being almost a tourist, without demands and without anxiety. It had to end, of course; and it began to end the day Sarojini said to him, "You've been here for six months. I may not be able to get your visa renewed again. You know what that means. You may not be able to stay here. That's the way the world is made. You can't object to it. You've got to start thinking of moving on. Do you have any idea of where you can go? Is there anything you feel you want to do?"
Willie said, "I know about the visa. I've been thinking about it."
Sarojini said, "I know your kind of thinking. It means putting something to the back of your mind."
Willie said, "I don't see what I can do. I don't know where I can go."
"You've never felt there was anything for you to do. You've never understood that men have to make the world for themselves."
"Don't talk to me like that. That's the way the oppressor class thinks. They've just got to sit tight, and the world will continue to be all right for them."
Willie said, "It doesn't help me when you twist things. You know very well what I mean. I feel a bad hand was dealt me. What could I have done in India? What could I have done in England in 1957 or 1958? Or in Africa?"
"Eighteen years in Africa. Your poor wife. She thought she was getting a man. She should have talked to me."