Any new book by VS Naipaul is an event to look forward to.
VS Naipaul’s latest book The Masque of Africa is his observations of African belief as he moved from Uganda to Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Gabon ending in South Africa. Naipaul finds that Africans are still very much concerned with indigenous beliefs, spirits, and medicine men.
Naipaul’s trademark travel writings are his sharp observations of human behaviour and his sardonic wry humour. You won’t find the historical background in his writings.
Naipaul is 78 this year. That could explain why his writing here is less dense; shorter and simpler sentence structure compared to say his India trilogy written in his much younger and perhaps angrier days. However, it is still a joy to read Naipaul’s elegant prose.