A rich collection of essays on reading, writing, and identity from our finest writer in English, V. S. Naipaul.Literary Occasionscharts more than half a century of personal enquiry into the mysteries of written expression, and of fiction in particular. Literary Occasionsbrings together some true gems of literary criticism and personal reflection. Reflecting on the full scope of his career, V. S. Naipaul takes us through his beginnings as a writer: his boyhood experiences of reading books and his first efforts at writing them; the early glimmers and evolution of ideas about the proper relations of particular literary forms to particular cultures and identities; and his father's influence, revealed in an intriguing preface to the only book he ever published. These moving and thoughtful pieces are accompanied by Naipaul's profound and severe discussions of other authors, including his signal essay on Conrad, and the classic "Indian Autobiographies." The collection is completed by "Two Worlds," the magnificent Nobel Address, in which Naipaul considers the indivisibility of the literary and the personal. Sustained by extraordinary powers of expression and thought,Literary Occasionsis both a subtle recollection of Naipaul's past, and the only available organized statement of his literary ideas. A valuable companion to last year'sThe Writer and the World, this is an essential volume from a man who has devoted his life to the written word.