Truth Be Told

There are two V.S. Naipauls, and the wrong one has become famous. Like most people, I encountered the wrong V.S. Naipaul first. This happened in the late 1980s, when my brother returned to our small South Indian hometown after his first year at a Californian university. Having left as a quiet, affable boy, he came back a very bad-tempered young man—and this change had taken place, we discovered, because of a writer named Naipaul, whom he had been reading in California. Each time we saw an overcrowded bus or hit a road with potholes, my brother would repeat Naipaul's line that...

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