Trinidadian Racial politics and Africa in V.S. Naipaul's A Way in The World
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A major strand in Naipaul's writings is the unravelment of the relations between the two main racial communities of Trinidad: the Afro-Caribbean and the East Indian. Not the least important factor in this is Naipaul's own membership of the smaller Indian community, about which he writes almost exclusively in his early novels and short stories set in Trinidad, the chief example being the acclaimed, A House for Mr Biswas. While later writings appear to have Africa as their main concern, relations between Indians and Africans continue to feature throughout Naipaul's work. Even where he is writing about the Black power movement in the Caribbean, the cult of Africanism in dictatorships like Mobuto's Zaire, or relations between Africans and Europeans in East Africa, the Indian community is either represented on the margins, through someone like Salim in A Bend in the River, or through the detached narrator, Naipaul himself, in, In a Free State. By means of these agents, Africa is continually undermined, and behind this subversion is the metalanguage of Trinidadian racial politics.