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A Way in the World

A Way in the World is a 1994 book by Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul. Although it was marketed as a novel in America, A Way in the World, which consists of linked narratives, is arguably something different.[1]

Cover of the first edition of "A Way in the World" by V.S. Naipaul
First edition cover
AuthorV.S. Naipaul
PublishedKnopf, 1994
Media typeBook

Novel or sequence?Edit

Despite his achievements as a novelist, in later life Naipaul has described the novel as an outmoded form.[2] A Way in the World was published in the UK with the sub-title "sequence", and this is reflected in British reviews.[3] In the USA it was published as a novel, apparently at the request of the American publisher.[4]

Relationship to The Loss of El DoradoEdit

A Way in the World is more fictional than Naipaul's earlier historical work The Loss of El Dorado (1969), which deals with some of the same material, for example the lives of Sir Walter Raleigh and Francisco de Miranda.[1] Naipaul also includes autobiographical material, partly fictionalised, which was not in the earlier book.


The book was short-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award.


  1. ^ a b Spice, N., 1994. Inspector of the Sad Parade. Review of A Way in the World by Naipaul, V. S. London Review of Books [Online] vol. 16 no. 15 pp. 10-11. Available from [Accessed 26 March 2016].
  2. ^ Maya Jaggi (8 September 2001),"A singular writer", The Guardian, London.
  3. ^ Ronald Warwick (25 April 1997), "A voyage around V. S.", THES.
  4. ^ Gussow, Mel (April 24, 1994) "V. S. Naipaul in Search of Himself: A Conversation", The New York Times