This is an intimate portrait of a friendship, its beginning, middle and end. And it describes that rarest and most fragile of alliances, a literary friendship. One year before he published his first book, Paul Theroux met the acclaimed writer V.S. Naipaul - 'Vidia', as he was known. For 30 years they remained in close touch, over five continents. Sir Vidia's Shadow is a double portrait of the writing life, but it is more, for travel and reading and emotional ups and downs are also aspects of this friendship, which is powerful and enriching and often a comedy - and ultimately, a bridge that is burned. This is a very personal account told with Theroux's impeccable eye for character and incident. Sir Vidia's Shadow recalls Rainer Maria Rilke's classic Letters to a Young Poet and of course Boswell's Life of Johnson; but it is also utterly modern, and almost without precedent in anatomising the nature of writing as well as the nature of friendship itself.