Magazine November 29, 2010, Issue

A Religious Journey

People attend an Afrikaans Sunday service in a makeshift tent church in Krugersdorp, South Africa, March 7, 2010. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters)
The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief, by V. S. Naipaul (Knopf, 256 pp., $26.95)

V.S. Naipaul is a gifted writer whose diction, imagery, and insight on postcolonial societies from the Caribbean to South Asia have won his work, both novels and narrative non-fiction, great and deserved admiration. Born in Trinidad to an Indian family, Naipaul is at heart an Anglophile wielding language precisely and with a dry wit. Regular readers will chuckle at his gloomy turns of phrase — here he spies a “moraine of garbage,” there he observes “Africa drowning in the fecundity of its people.”

The Masque of Africa is a rambling travelogue taking the reader in six chapters to six different African

To Read the Full Story
Travis Kavulla is director of Energy and Environmental Policy at the R Street Institute. He is a former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners who held elected office as a Montana public service commissioner for eight years. Before that, he was an associate editor for National Review.

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