Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief

Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples

By V. S. Naipaul

Vintage, Paperback, 9780375706486, 432pp.

Publication Date: December 1999


"Brilliant. . . . A powerfully observed, stylistically elegant exploration." --The New York Times

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

"The book's strength lies in Naipaul's extraordinary ability as a storyteller to draw striking portraits of a cross section of individuals."--The Boston Globe

Fourteen years after the publication of his landmark travel narrative Among the Believers, V. S. Naipaul returned to the four non-Arab Islamic countries he reported on so vividly at the time of Ayatollah Khomeini's triumph in Iran. Beyond Belief is the result of his five-month journey in 1995 through Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia--lands where descendants of Muslim converts live at odds with indigenous traditions, and where dreams of Islamic purity clash with economic and political realities.

In extended conversations with a vast number of people--a rare survivor of the martyr brigades of the Iran-Iraq war, a young intellectual training as a Marxist guerilla in Baluchistan, an impoverished elderly couple in Teheran whose dusty Baccarat chandeliers preserve the memory of vanished wealth, and countless others--V. S. Naipaul deliberately effaces himself to let the voices of his subjects come through. Yet the result is a collection of stories that has the author's unmistakable stamp. With its incisive observation and brilliant cultural analysis, Beyond Belief is a startling and revelatory addition to the Naipaul canon.

"Highly accomplished. . . . Another display of Naipaul's remarkable talent." --The Independent (London)

About the Author
V.S Naipaul (1932), laureat du Booker Prize en 1971 et du prix Nobel de litterature en 2001, est notamment l auteur de romans, "Le Masseur mystique" (Grasset, 2010), "L Enigme de l arrivee" (Grasset, Les Cahiers Rouges, 2012), de recits de voyage, "Le Masque de l Afrique" (Grasset, 2011), d essais, "Crepuscule sur l Islam", et d une correspondance, "Entre pere et fils" (Grasset, 2012).