[London]: Andre Deutsch, (1963). Single volume, measuring 8.25 x 5.5 inches: 232. Original black boards lettered in gilt, turquoise and black cartographic endpapers, top edge stained turquoise, original unclipped color pictorial dust jacket with price sticker to front flap. Inscribed “V.S. Naipaul / for Al Murray” on title page. Light shelfwear and soiling to jacket, expert repair to flap folds.
Early printing of Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipaul’s acid Caribbean travelogue, first published in 1962, inscribed by Naipaul to the American critic Albert Murray. The Middle Passage chronicles Naipaul’s travels through Trinidad, British Guiana, Surinam, Martinique, and Jamaica, a year-long dive into a part of the world he had once vowed to escape. “There is no set way in Trinidad of doing anything. . . . Ostracism is meaningless; the sanctions of any clique can be ignored. It is in this way, and not in the way of the travel brochure, that the Trinidadian is a cosmopolitan. He is adaptable, he is cynical; having no rigid social conventions of his own, he is amused by the conventions of others.” Naipaul has inscribed this copy to Al Murray, author of The Omni-Americans. In A Turn in the South, Naipaul describes his first meeting with Murray, a Tuskegee graduate and “a man of enthusiasms,” who took Naipaul on a walking tour through Harlem, pointing out the architectural sights and introducing him to the new Schomburg Center. “I didn't take a taxi back. There were no taxis in the streets. Al waited a little while with me, talking of Ralph Ellison, until a bus came.” A very good copy, with a compelling literary association.