The Masque of Africa
Glimpses of African Belief
By V. S. Naipaul
(Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780307454997, 241pp.)
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
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A remarkable work of reportage by Nobel Prize Laureate V. S. Naipaul that surveys belief and religion among the disparate peoples of Africa.
Like all of Naipaul’s “travel” books, The Masque of Africa encompasses a much larger narrative and purpose: to judge the effects of belief (in indigenous animisms, the foreign religions of Christianity and Islam, the cults of leaders and mythical history) upon the progress of civilization. It is a masterly achievement by one of the world’s keenest observers and one of its greatest writers.