Naipaul’s writing began to change again in the early 1980s. This new mood first appeared in the ‘two narratives’ of Finding the Centre (1984), ‘Prologue to an Autobiography’ and ‘The Crocodiles of Yamoussoukro’. The relation of the writer’s self to his work is now accepted as the answer to the problems of marginality, exile and insecurity that characterized Naipaul’s earlier books. The centre is now the creation and discovery of the self rather than external in an ideal society. Recognition that the problems of Trinidad, India and England are similar and that all life is subject to change was followed by a new mellowness. There are still moments of irritability, but such eruptions are brief and followed by what may seem a too tolerant interest. At times Naipaul may be letting those he interviews convict themselves rather than openly judging them. Women also begin to appear in the books as enjoyable friends rather than as dangers who mislead men from their work.
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