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Letters Between Father and Son Book Review Summary

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Letters Between Father and Son

"Letters Between Father and Son" published in 1999, document the period between the years 1949 to 1957, written by V.S. Naipaul while he was a student at Oxford University in England to his father, a journalist in Trinidad.
    Naipaul(Vidia) is trying to get established as a writer while studying and broadcasing programs for the BBC. At the same time, he is encouraging his father, Seepersad, a frustrated author, to publish his own short stories.
       V.S. Naipaul's letters contain a blueprint for writing. On July 30, 1951, he exhorts his father in capital letters,"   FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, START WRITING. YOU CAN WRITE AND YOU KNOW IT. ONCE YOU START WRITING, YOU WILL FIND IDEAS FLOODING UPON YOU...lOOK BACK ON YOUR LIFE FROM CHILDHOOD UPWARDS. REMEMBEER A SINGLE MAN OR INCIDENT THAT IMPRESSED ITSELF UPON YOU AND A STORY WILL GROW."
    He continues,"WRITE A STORY AS STRAIGHT OFF AS POSSIBLE IN ONE OR TWO DAYS."

    He adds,"FINISH THE STORY AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. PUT THE ROUGH STORIES AWAY. TAKE THEM UP ABOUT A FORTNIGHT LATER AND THEN REVISE THEM. WRITE ONE SHORT STORY A WEEK. WRITE. STYLE AND FORM AND CHARACTER WILL GADUALLY TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. PLEASE WRITE. THE ESSENTIAL THING ABOUT WRITING IS WRITING."
    Sadly, the father suffers a heart attack and is too ill to follow this advice. But these words, preserved in a letter, are the guidelines that Naipaul adheres to during his writing life.
The review of this Book prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson








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Chapter Analysis of Letters Between Father and Son

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Plot & Themes

Political/social rights fight    -   Yes job/profession:    -   artist Ethnic/Relig. of subject (inside)    -   Asian, other Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Family, hate    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Father The difficult family member    -   expects to be obeyed in all things    -   disapproves of life choices    -   disapproves of personality Family, love    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   father Phys disability/mental struggle?    -   Yes Struggle with    -   mental illness    -   general search for meaning Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   Indian Indian Nationality    -   British Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally Ill

Setting

How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   10 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   The Caribbean Island?    -   Yes Island:    -   Caribbean Islands City?    -   Yes City:    -   London Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   encouraged    -   like laughing Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   actual description of hetero sex How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Letters Between Father and Son

V.S. Naipaul Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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