Unhomeliness and Hybridity in V. S. Naipaul’s Half a Life and Magic Seeds

Document Type: Research Article


University of Tehran


In this study, the notions of homelessness and unhomeliness are studied in 2 novels by Naipaul: Half a Life (2001) and Magic Seeds (2004). Naipaul has been viewed by many postcolonial critics as an imperially complicit writer, for his controversial views of places and societies, particularly his disdain for non-Western societies. This study examines whether the imperatives of the postcolonial context, where boundaries and idealistic vision of place are unsettled, have influenced Naipaul’s view of places and ways of belonging to them. It is argued that his recent novels accept that the reality of homelessness renders the quest for home futile and approves of cultural exchange and hybridity as possible ways of belonging. However, the 2 novels show possibility as only tenable in certain Western societies (like England) and refuses to accept the possibility of hybridity and cultural exchange in postcolonial societies.


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