FIRST EDITION OF A TURN IN THE SOUTH, SIGNED BY V.S. NAIPAUL
NAIPAUL, V.S. A Turn in the South. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. Octavo, original half navy cloth, original dust jacket. $300.
First trade edition of V.S. Naipaul's journey through the Southern United States and the legacy of slavery, boldly signed on the title page by him.
"Books by travelers—more than 600 on the region in the first half of the present century alone—bulk large in the literature on the South… Unlike his precursors, V.S. Naipaul comes with an ethnic neutrality bred of his ancestors from India. Quite as important for his task as detachment, however, is involvement. That arises from the history and background he shares with the South. In an autobiographical work, 'The Enigmas of Arrival,' he wrote of growing up in Trinidad 'in the vanished world of sugar-cane fields and huts and barefoot children'… Mr. Naipaul confesses to 'writing anxieties' about undertaking this book on people unknown to him, and says he is surprised at 'the great pleasure I had taken in traveling in the South' and pleased with the encounters that 'made the people of the South or Southeast so congenial to me.' His sampling of them is selective and relatively small, but his comprehension is astute and penetrating. He is sympathetic but never condescending, or patronizing, or moralizing. His purpose is not to admonish or deplore but to understand. And the book he has written brings new understanding of the subject to his reader" (New York Times). Published the same year as a Franklin Library signed limited edition and the first British edition.
Book fine, dust jacket with a bit of light soiling. A near-fine signed copy.