The Mystic Masseur (novel)

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The Mystic Masseur
First edition cover
Author V. S. Naipaul
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Contemporary fiction
Publisher André Deutsch
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 215

The Mystic Masseur is a comic novel by V. S. Naipaul. It is set in colonial Trinidad and was published in London in 1957.

The novel is about a frustrated writer of Indian descent who rises from an impoverished background to become a successful politician on the back of his dubious talent as a 'mystic' masseur - a masseur who can cure illnesses.

Publication and critical reception[edit]

The publisher André Deutsch encouraged Naipaul to write a novel after seeing the manuscript of his collection of short stories, Miguel Street.[1]

The Mystic Masseur won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1958.


The novel was the first by Naipaul to be filmed. The 2001 film adaptation, The Mystic Masseur, is a Merchant Ivory production.[2]