The Naipauls of Nepaul Street



This is a moving story of a Trinidadian-Indian family’s beginnings, growth and its inevitable dispersal. Savi Naipaul Akal’s memoir pays tribute to extraordinary parents: Her father Seepersad Naipaul, virtual orphan in a dirtpoor rural Indian family, one generation away from indentured migration, who through self-education became a remarkable journalist and writer. And her mother Dropatie, who displayed remarkable diplomatic skills in sustaining a relationship with the large, prosperous and inward-looking Capildeo clan, of which she was the seventh daughter, whilst loyally supporting her husband’s insistence on independence and engagement with Trinidadian life. After Seepersad’s tragically early death, Dropatie held the family together, so that all seven children achieved university education.

It is an account of family loyalty, sacrifice, and sometimes tensions; pride in the writing achievements of her brothers Vidia and Shiva, and sorrow over estrangements and Shiva’s premature death. The memoir also gives a sharply observed picture of cultural change in Trinidad from colony to independent nation, of being Indian in a Creole society, and of the role of education in migrant families.

Elegant and lucid, written with a distinctively personal voice, the book is further enhanced by the generous quantity of family photographs that say so much about these people and the times they lived through.

Author's Name
ImprintSpeaking Tiger


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