Nobel prize laureate V. S. Naipaul met Chinese readers in Shanghai Monday at the launch of the Chinese edition of his novel, A Bend in the River.
The Trinidad-born British writer is in China for the first time and his week-long visit will take him to the annual Shanghai Book Fair, a major cultural highlight running from Aug. 13 to 19, and a series of literature events.
"A Bend in the River", a 1979 novel, is set in an unnamed, newly independent African country. It was ranked 83rd on the Modern Library's list of the 100 best English novels of the 20th century in 1998.
The Chinese edition of the book, published by Nanhai Publishing Co. based in the southern island province of Hainan, is ready for orders at major online bookstores including Amazon.cn and Dangdang.com, but readers still need to wait for two or three days for delivery.
When asked whether he was planning to write a book on China, Naipaul said he does not have the "experience and wisdom" to do so. "China is an enormous country," he said.
In response to a teenager's question on writer's motivation, he said a writer simply has to "keep on writing".
Naipaul is accompanied by his wife Nadira Naipaul and will stay in China for a week. They are scheduled to visit Hangzhou, capital of the neighboring Zhejiang Province, famous for the West Lake, green tea and silk.
Naipaul is scheduled to give a speech on "Literature and Translation: in another language" at Shanghai Science Hall on Tuesday.
He will also spend his 82nd birthday in China, on Aug. 17.
Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. The Swedish Academy praised his work "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories".
He is known in China for his trilogy books about visits to India and "A House for Mr. Biswas", which is set in his native country, Trinidad.