A House for Mr Biswas (1961), Naipaul’s first major novel, belongs with those classics in which through the portrayal of an individual the complexities and aspirations of a previously ignored culture are articulated, given epic, mythic stature. While it is an imaginative, fictional recreation of the past, the main characters, places and events are based on Naipaul’s father, Naipaul’s own youth and the larger family of which they were a part (see Appendix A).
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