The house that Naipaul built

It is not his travel writing that makes him one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, it is his fiction
The joke, considered by some to be factual, runs like this. An Englishman, an admirer of the descriptive writing of the blind Ved Mehta, goes to a literary party in London in the 1980s because he has heard that Mehta would be there. The Englishman suspects that any writer who is so good at description cannot be truly blind. On arriving, he asks the hostess if Mr. Mehta is in the room. She says, yes, I think he is sitting on a sofa at the back of the hall. The Englishman navigates his way through the crowd and reaches the back. He spots an Asian sitting alone on a sofa. Sneaking up, the Englishman waves his hands in front of the Asian’s face. No response. The Englishman pulls faces. No response. Just then the hostess passes by, so the Englishman turns to her and whispers, “You know, Mr. Mehta there is really blind”. “But that is not Mr. Mehta,” she replies. “That is V.S. Naipaul.”

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