A House for Mr Biswas (1961)

"A House for Mr. Biswas" is a novel by V.S. Naipaul that was first published in 1961. It is a semi-autobiographical work that tells the story of Mohun Biswas, a man of Indian descent living in Trinidad in the mid-20th century. The novel follows Biswas's struggles to achieve independence and create a sense of home and belonging for himself and his family.

Biswas is born into poverty and spends much of his life trying to escape the constraints of his family and community. He marries into a wealthy family, but finds that he is unable to fully assimilate into their lifestyle and values. Despite his efforts, he is constantly thwarted by circumstances and his own limitations.

Throughout the novel, Naipaul uses Biswas's story to explore themes of identity, tradition, and the immigrant experience. He also delves into the cultural and societal changes occurring in Trinidad during this time period.

Overall, "A House for Mr. Biswas" is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that offers a unique perspective on the human desire for autonomy and belonging. It is a testament to Naipaul's skill as a writer and his ability to bring the experience of the immigrant to life through the character of Mr. Biswas.

Back to blog