'A House for Mr. Biswas' is Published
And so Mr. Biswas, ex-sign painter, ex-bus conductor, ex-journalist, achieved his heart's desire and moved into a dwelling of his very own.
It looked "like a huge and squat sentry-box," he paid too much for it, the upper floor sagged, the windows would not shut, one door would not open, but it was a house.
Such is the simple plot of this new novel by V. S. Naipaul, 29, a Hindu who made a name for himself in his first novel, The Mystic Masseur, which recorded with sweet and sour irony the ways of the colony (291,000) of expatriate Indians who live in Trinidad. What counts is not the plot but the flavor of their slap-happy lingo and picaresque customs, and it all ought to be as much fun as a barrel of tonka beans in Tobago sauce. But Naipaul's House, though built of excellent exotic materials, sags badly; 'economy, style, and a less elastic blueprint would have done wonders.
A House for Mr. Biswas follows the life of Mr. Mohun Biswas, a protagonist inspired by Naipaul's father, as he struggles to find his freedom and a house of his own. The son of a poor laborer in Trinidad, Mr. Biswas is forced to live as a guest in one crowded, inhospitable house after another. After his father dies, his family moves in with his mother's sister, Tara, and he is humiliated and beaten by Tara's brother-in-law Bhandat. Mr. Biswas vows, "I am going to get a job on my own. And I am going to get my own house too. I am finished with this"