MIGUEL STREET

Publisher: Vintage Canada
To the residents of Miguel Street, a derelict corner of Trinidad’s capital, their neighbourhood is a complete world, where everybody is quite different from everybody else. There’s Popo the carpenter, who neglects his livelihood to build “the thing without a name;” Man-man, who goes from running for public office to staging his own crucifixion; Big Foot, the dreaded bully with glass tear ducts; and the lovely Mrs. Hereira, in thrall to her monstrous husband. Their lives (and the legends their neighbours construct around them) are rendered by V. S. Naipaul with Dickensian verve and Chekhovian compassion in this tender, funny novel.

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I

BOGART

Every morning when he got up Hat would sit on the banister of his back verandah and shout across, 'What happening there, Bogart?'

Bogart would turn in his bed and mumble softly, so that no one heard, 'What happening there, Hat?'

It was something of a mystery why he was called Bogart;...
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PRAISE FOR

“One of the few contemporary writers of whom we can speak in terms of greatness.” -- Mel Gussow, Newsday

Miguel Street is the Bowery, the Tenderloin, and the Catfish Row of Trinidad’s Port of Spain -- its citizens a loony multitude whose knavery often rises from real kinship with pathos and tragedy. . . . Naipaul is at his best in these swift caricatures of human depravity.” -- San Francisco Chronicle

“Amusing and poignant. . . . Excellent reading.” -- Chicago Tribune

“Naipaul does not tell stories. By some miraculous sleight-of-hand he takes you to Port of Spain and shows you the rich, bawdy, consequential lives of the Trinidadians, as though there were no intervening veil of words. . . . I rather suspect the mantle of Chekhov has fallen on Mr. Naipaul’s shoulders.” -- Robert Payne, Saturday Review