The Mystic Masseur Background

The Mystic Masseur Background

The Mystic Masseur is a contemporary fiction novel by V.S. Naipaul published in 1957 in England. It won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1958, and was also adapted into a full-length film of the same name by the film company Merchant Ivory.

This comic novel focuses on a frustrated writer of an Indian descent, Ganesh Ramsumair, who is supposedly a "mystic masseur", or a masseur (massager) who has magical talent. In colonial Trinidad, masseurs were regarded as medics of sorts. Using his supernatural talents, Ganesh rises from a life of poverty to become an extremely successful and eminent politician, chronicled by the book. Over the course of the novel, many other eccentric characters are introduced who affect his ascendance to affluence in a variety of ways, including his wife Leela, her father Ramlogan, and an assortment of his patients who are plagued by a motley of diseases (many of which are strange and unique).

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