'The Imaginative Promptings of My Many-Sided Background': V.S. Naipaul's Diasporic Sensibility
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Twice displaced from his ancestral homeland of India, V.S. Naipaul seems to epitomise the diasporic writer. But categorisation of such an extraordinary individual is not easy, even if the categories are clearly defined, and the details of the theories of diaspora that have been developed over the years are subject to dispute. Naipaul was born into a diasporic community. The way he has chosen to use that background as a writer is something rather different. Instead of drawing heavily on memories of the homeland and the collective identity, he has made his difference into a distinction, and turned his alienation into an abiding preoccupation.