The Enigma of Arrival
By V.S. Naipaul
This novel, published in 1987, was a major departure from Naipaul's earlier works of fiction—a new, hybrid genre that the author has sometimes referred to as "a sequence." It is partly an immigrant's tale, as the narrator leaves his birthplace, the British colony of Trinidad, to live in England, where he will never entirely "settle." But it is also the story of another journey, that of the narrator's development as an artist and an intellectual, a man plumbing the depths of his own consciousness to interpret the world and to discover his place in it. To read this book is to be engaged with the mind of a genius, and Naipaul's mastery of the English language has always struck me as miraculous.