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Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul: Nobel prize winner, fiery author, dies at 85

One of his major novels 'A House for Mr Biswas' looked at the task for Indian immigrants in the Caribbean trying to integrate into society while keeping hold of their roots

AFP | PTI  |  London 

V S Naipaul
File photo of V S Naipaul

Nobel Prize-winning British author V S has died at the age of 85, his family announced on Saturday.

"He died surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour," his wife Lady said in a statement.

She described him as a "giant in all that he achieved".

Vidiadhar Surajprasad wrote more than 30 books and won Prize in 2001.

Born in Trinidad, the son of an Indian civil servant, he studied English at before basing his life in England.

But he spent much of his time travelling and became a symbol of modern rootlessness.

Awarding him the Nobel, the said he was a "literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice".

Many of his works examined the traumas of post-colonial change.


One of his major novels was the semi-autobiographical "A House for Mr Biswas", which looked at the almost impossible task for Indian immigrants in the of trying to integrate into society while keeping hold of their roots.

He was one of the first winners of the Booker Prize, now Britain's leading literary award, in 1971 for "In A Free State." Naipaul was also outspoken throughout his career, likening former British to a pirate at the of a socialist revolution.

He was also disparaging about female novelists, described post-colonial countries as "half-made societies" and argued that Islam both enslaved and attempted to wipe out other cultures.

First Published: Sun, August 12 2018. 08:05 IST
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