Heart-rending and darkly comic, V. S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas has been hailed as one of the twentieth century’s finest novels, a classic that evokes a man’s quest for autonomy against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad.
Mr Biswas has been told since the day of his birth that misfortune will follow him – and so it has. Meaning only to avoid punishment, he causes the death of his father and the dissolution of his family. Wanting to flirt with a beautiful woman, he is bullied into an unhappy marriage with her. But in spite of endless setbacks, Mr Biswas is determined to achieve independence, and so he begins the gruelling struggle to buy a home of his own.