Inscribing Indian Indentureship in the Creolised Caribbean: The Homing Desire in V.S. Naipaul’s A House For Mr. Biswas



This article argues that the novel A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), by Nobel-prize winner V.S. Naipaul reflects, through the metaphor of the house, characteristically Caribbean concerns regarding the meanings of home. Therefore, is it argued that the Indo-Caribbean community should be accounted for in theories of creolisation which, until recently, have ignored this community in favour of a unified Afro-creole identity that was to support the struggle for independence and other rights. The aim of this article is to understand creolisation by taking into account the interactions between the diverse diasporas that have created the contemporary Caribbean. As such, the novel unveils the conflicts that arise when there is a neglect of such negotiation. With its ending, even if not openly, A House for Mr. Biswas emphasises the immanence of lived experience in the perception of identity. The home in the novel eventually transitions into Avtar Brah’s homing desire, a concept that challenges essentialism in the apprehension of diasporic identities. Reading the novel through this lens reconsiders the meanings of home in the context of the Caribbean in general and the Indo-Caribbean community in particular.


Home, Naipaul, Indo-Trinidadian literature, Caribbean literature, A House for Mr. Biswas, diaspora, postcolonial studies


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Author Biography

Mónica Fernández Jiménez, Universidad de Valladolid

Mónica Fernández Jiménez holds a PhD in English from the University of Valladolid, where she currently works as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research focuses on the literature and culture of the Caribbean and its diasporas, including the Indo-Caribbean world. She has been visiting fellow at the Universities of Leeds and Nottingham Trent in the United Kingdom. She is secretary of the Spanish Association for the Interdisciplinary Study of India (AEEII) since November 2021 and co-directed its 7th International Conference. 





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