The Middle Passage (book)

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First edition (publ. Macmillan)

The Middle Passage: Impressions of Five Societies - British, French and Dutch in the West Indies and South America is a 1962 book-length essay / travelogue by V.S. Naipaul. It is his first book-length work of non-fiction.[1] It has the sub-title "The Caribbean Revisited".

The book covers a year-long trip through Trinidad, British Guiana, Suriname, Martinique, and Jamaica in 1961. As well as giving his own impressions, Naipaul refers to the work of earlier travellers such as Patrick Leigh Fermor who described a similar itinerary in The Traveller's Tree. Naipaul addresses a range of topics including the legacy of slavery and colonialism, race relations, the roles of South Asian immigrants in the various countries, and differences in language, culture, and economics.


  1. ^ Gillian Dooley (2006). V.S. Naipaul, Man and Writer. Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-57003-587-6.