Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1973 Costa Winner

The Chip-chip Gatherers by Shiva Naipaul


Publisher: Penguin

Length: 319 pages

About: Imbalance of wealth and power

Style: 1st & 3rd person

Where: Trinidad

When: 1940s-1960s



Publisher’s synopsis:

At the centre of the crowded, ramshackle community in Trinidad stands Egbert Ramsaran, the proud owner of the Ramsaran Transport Company. There is also his son, Wilbert; Vishnu, the grocer; Julian, hoping to become a doctor; and the beautiful Sushila. This is the story of their lives.





Basdai was an extremely thin and spare woman with arms and legs like knotted sticks. Her narrow, bony face was lined and wrinkled to an astonishing degree and her cheeks had caved into her nearly toothless mouth. Being one of those people who consider the mere accumulation of years as in itself worthy of admiration and devotion, she was proud of her appearance.






A compelling, tragic, painfully comic masterpiece.

Times Literary Supplement


Not so good

Shiva Naipaul, who did well with Fireflies, does well again ... though I think less well... with his second novel... It is a book abounding in raw material but rather short on processing. Sydney Smith considered that digestion was the great secret of life: Naipaul hasn't here kept this nugget of wisdom sufficiently in mind.'

David Williams, The Times 12th April 1973



About the author

(25 February 1945 - 13 August 1985), born Shivadhar Srivinasa Naipaul in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, was a Trinidadian and British novelist and journalist. Shiva Naipaul was the younger brother of novelist V. S. Naipaul. He went first to Queen's Royal College and St Mary's College in Trinidad, then emigrated to Britain, having won a scholarship to study Chinese at University College, Oxford. At Oxford, he met and later married Jenny Stuart, with whom he had a son, Tarun. Both his fiction and nonfiction were characterized by a starkly pessimistic view of Commonwealth societies that attacked the post-imperial native hierarchies for their crassness and mimicry of the West, and in turn the banality and diffidence of Western liberalism. On the morning of 13 August 1985, at the age of 40, Naipaul had a heart attack while working at his desk.


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2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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