Nobel-winning writer V S Naipaul dies at 85

LONDON: V S Naipaul, the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Literature, has died at 85, his family said.
Naipaul, whose many works revolved around the themes of colonialism and exile, died peacefully at his home in London, his wife, Nadira Naipaul, said.
“He was a giant in all that he achieved and he died surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour,” she said in a statement quoted by British media.
Born to Hindu immigrants in Trinidad in 1932, Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul also won the Booker Prize in 1971 for his novel In a Free State and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1990.
Naipaul’s best-known works include the novels A House for Mr Biswas (1961) and A Bend in the River (1979).
Hailed as a masterpiece, A House for Mr Biswas told the tragicomic story of the search for independence and identity of a Brahmin Indian living in Trinidad. Much of it was inspired by the experiences of the author’s father.
He also authored several nonfiction works including Among the Believers, published in 1981 and based on his own travels, which warned of the resentment embodied in and the threat posed by radical fundamentalism.
Naipaul won a scholarship to Oxford University and on graduation embarked on a career as a freelance writer. In the mid-1950s, Naipaul was a broadcaster for the BBC’s Caribbean Voices and a regular fiction reviewer for the New Statesman.
Letters Between a Father and His Son, published in 1999, revealed a life of poverty and loneliness — an unremarkable fate at the elite university, where many have made similar complaints.
Naipaul received a grant from the Trinidad government to travel in the Caribbean and travelled widely in the 1960s and early 1970s in India, South America, Africa, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and the United States. — dpa