Sunday, May 02, 2004

I knocked on the door. Nothing. I peered through a small window: the place had a deserted, shut-down look. I was about to give up when the door opened. A sleek cat slithered out and started rubbing against my leg. Then a face appeared: a woman with a small diamond in her nose.

"He likes you," she said with some surprise, but with a smile. "He doesn't usually like visitors." The cat's approval seemed a good omen.

Nadira Naipaul, the writer's second wife, ushered me into a small, cosily furnished sitting room, telling me that "he" would be down in a few minutes. I noticed a pile of books on a table, with a well-thumbed paperback about deciphering alphabets and codes on top. There was a portrait of a young, or at least youngish, V.S. Naipaul. And a shotgun propped against the wall next to the fireplace.

-- From Andrew Riemer's profile of Sir Vidia in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald.

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