A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul


A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul

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Brief Summary
A House for Mr. Biswas follows the life of Mr. Mohun Biswas, a protagonist inspired by Naipaul’s father, as he struggles to find his freedom and a house of his own. The son of a poor laborer in Trinidad, Mr. Biswas is forced to live as a guest in one crowded, inhospitable house after another. After his father dies, his family moves in with his mother’s sister, Tara, and he is humiliated and beaten by Tara’s brother-in-law Bhandat. Mr. Biswas vows, “I am going to get a job on my own.
And I am going to get my own house too. I am finished with this” [p. 64]. He goes to work as a sign-painter for the Tulsi family, and there he begins a flirtation with Shama. After his love letter is discovered by Mrs. Tulsi, Mr. Biswas is bullied into marrying Shama, thus beginning a long and unhappy marriage that produces four children, a constant struggle for money, and countless bitter quarrels. After a brief and failed attempt to run a dry goods store in The Chase, Mr. Biswas and his family return to live with the Tulsi family, a pattern that recurs thoughout the novel.
It is in Port of Spain that Mr. Biswas comes closest to happiness, working as a journalist for the tabloid Sentinel, writing outlandish stories, and achieving a degree of local fame. Here, too, his son Anand excels in school and shows signs of talent as a writer. But Mr. Biswas’s fortunes suffer several reversals, and it is not until the very end of his life that he is finally able to buy a house–only to find the experience much different than he had imagined.
A vivid portrait of a man who fights to free himself from the entanglements of family, custom, and religion, A House for Mr. Biswas is also an unforgettable look inside colonial society at the beginnings of great transition.


Author:VS Naipaul

Availability: In stock


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