This is a book about one of the more important and unsettling issues of our time. But it is t a book of opinion. It is, in the Naipaul way, a very rich and human book, full of people and their stories: stories of family, both broken and whole; of religion and nation; and of the constant struggle to create a world of virtue and prosperity in equal measure. Islam is an Arab religion, and it makes imperial Arabizing demands on its converts. In this way it is more than a private faith; and it can become a neurosis. What has this Arab Islam done to the histories of the n-Arab Islamic states: Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia? How do the converted peoples view their past -- and their future? In a follow-up to Among the Believers, his classic account of his travels through these countries, V. S. Naipaul returns, after a gap of seventeen years, to find out how and what the converted preach. 'Sceptical, enquiring, sharply observant and unfailingly stylish' Guardian 'Peerless ...the human encounters are described minutely, superbly, picking up inconsistencies in people's tales, catching the uncertainties and the nuances ...there is a candour to his writing, a constant precision at its heart' Sunday Times
V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at University College, Oxford, he began to write, and since then has followed no other profession. He has published more than twenty books of fiction and non-fiction, including Half a Life, A House for Mr Biswas, A Bend in the River and most recently The Masque of Africa, and a collection of letters, Between a Father and Son. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.