Neel Mukherjee's 6 favorite books

The Enigma of Arrival by V.S. Naipaul (Vintage, $17).

Eight years after his adamantine masterpiece, A Bend in the River, this marked Naipaul's return to fiction, and once again he broke the form and returned the term "novel" to its original meaning of "something new." Autobiography, fiction, and meditation all fuse to create an unforgettable and powerful, melancholy-drenched work about displacement and unbelonging.

Voss by Patrick White (Penguin, $18).

Set in 19th-century Australia,...

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