The latest of Nobel Prize Laureate V. S. Naipaul’s travel books, The Masque of Africa is a remarkable work of reportage that surveys belief and religion among the disparate peoples of Africa. As with Naipaul’s other travel narratives (An Area of Darkness, Among the Believers) the book encompasses a larger purpose: the effects of belief (in indigenous animisms, the foreign religions of Christianity and Islam, the cults of leaders and mythical history) upon the progress of civilization.
Select Praise for The Masque of Africa:
“Engaging…. Naipaul’s latest African journey is eyewitness reporting at its best.” —Time
“Beautiful and humane…. The idea that underpins it is so basic that it achieves a kind of majesty.” —Harper’s Magazine
“Neither a romantic’s nor an anthropologist’s tale. It is a collection of voices that make sense only in relation to one another…. What’s important is what’s being said…. [Naipaul’s is a] brilliant and elastic mind.” —The New York Times Book Review
Other Travel Writing by V. S. Naipaul
– The Middle Passage: The Caribbean Revisited
– An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India
– The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial History
– India: A Wounded Civilization
– Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey
– A Turn in the South
– India: A Million Mutinies Now
– Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples
– The Writer and the World: Essays
Click to see the table of contents from The Masque of Africa.