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To the Editors:
On Elizabeth Hardwick's advice, "Never ever speak to them dear. They always get it wrong," I did not cooperate with Patrick French's book [The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul]; nor have I read it. There are a number of things wrong in Ian Buruma's review of it [NYR, November 20, 2008].
Gillon Aitken was not dispatched to Buenos Aires checkbook in hand. (I wish he had been.)
There was one pregnancy and one that turned out not to be. I heard nothing about Pat raising the child.
The majority of my letters to Vidia were written because he had a habit of saying "please write me a little letter." If he chose to leave them unopened, that was his business.
Not mentioned in Ian Buruma's review is an error by Patrick French: no one has ever called me Margarita.
Vidia says I didn't mind the abuse. I certainly did mind.
Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThis is not all. There are spirited rejoinders from Paul Theroux, Ian Buruma, and Patrick French as well...