Reproductive System

The book's name and cover caught my eye simultaneously. V.S. Naipaul's The Enigma of Arrival was illustrated with a similarly titled painting by Giorgio de Chirico, the Greek-Italian pre-Surrealist. I pored over the book, which describes the Trinidadian Nobel laureate's own coming to terms with living in southern England, a few miles from where I had grown up. Enthused and enthralled, I decided I wanted the painting, too.

The original, in private hands in New York, was out of my physical and financial reach. Then Tamara, my wife (who speaks fluent Cantonese), suggested Da Fen, the reproduction-art village...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!