An Area of Darkness

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An Area of Darkness
First edition cover
AuthorV. S. Naipaul
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherAndré Deutsch
Publication date
Media typePrint

An Area of Darkness is a book written by V. S. Naipaul in 1964. It is a travelogue detailing Naipaul's trip through India in the early sixties. It was the first of Naipaul's acclaimed Indian trilogy that includes India: A Wounded Civilization (1977) and India: A Million Mutinies Now (1990). The narration is anecdotal and descriptive.

Widely considered a passionate but pessimistic work, An Area of Darkness conveys the sense of disillusionment which the author experiences on his first visit to India in the sixties, marked with poverty and corruption. The book was banned in India for its "negative portrayal of India and its people".[1] The book is also considered Naipaul's reckoning with his ancestral homeland and a sharp chronicle of his travels through India of the sixties encountering distressing poverty in the slums, corrupt government workers in the cities, to the ethereal beauty of the Himalayas, covering a vast canvas of the subcontinent.[2]

According to some book reviewers, the title of the book, An Area of Darkness, was not so much a reference to India of the sixties, as to Naipaul's feelings of distress and anxiety encountering poverty and suffering in India.[3][4][5][6]


  1. ^ Suroor, Hasan (3 March 2012). "You can't read this book".
  2. ^ "An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India". 5 May 2022.
  3. ^ French 2008, p. 230.
  4. ^ Dooley 2006, p. 44.
  5. ^ French 2008, p. 215.
  6. ^ Dooley 2006, pp. 41–42.