|Plot Summary 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. "
Betty-Jeanne Korson, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Letters Between Father and Son|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Political/social rights fight
Ethnic/Relig. of subject (inside)
- Asian, other
The difficult family member
- expects to be obeyed in all things
- disapproves of life choices
- disapproves of personality
Special relationship with
Phys disability/mental struggle?
- mental illness
- general search for meaning
Subject of Biography
- mentally ill
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
Biography of famous person?
- Indian Indian
How sensitive is this person?
- soggy whimpering jelly muffin
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Average intelligence
- physically sick
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 10 ()
The Americas (not US):
- The Caribbean
- Caribbean Islands
Small town people:
- nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Book makes you feel?
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
- eccentric personalities
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
- touching of anatomy
- actual description of hetero sex
Writer's slant towards subject:
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
How much dialogue in bio?
- little dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 0-25% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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