Nobel Prize-winning author VS Naipaul passes away at 85

Lewis Collier
August 19, 2018

Reputed author Sir VS Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, has died "peacefully" in London, his family has confirmed. In 1983 he said, "Yes, I was born there". His first book on India, a travelogue was banned in 1960s for its anti-India portrayal. "His conclusions were insightful, even when they were harsh", French told PTI. The most famous: "a House for Mr. Biswas" and "the dark Territory".

Theroux, who later reconciled with Naipaul, had visited with him recently.

Other creation of Naipaul includes "A House for Mr. Biswas, ' 'A Bend in the River, ' 'In a Free State, ' 'An Area of Darkness, ' 'Half a Life" among many other of his literary work.

Theroux said there had been a "great satisfaction in reconnecting", adding it "took him a long time to make his mark, but when he did, it happened in a big way".

He said this was due to women's "sentimentality, the narrow view of the world". And then there were also reports of him physically abusing his mistress Margaret Gooding.

"He is to a very high degree a cosmopolitan writer, a fact that he himself considers to stem from his lack of roots: he is unhappy about the cultural and spiritual poverty of Trinidad, he feels alienated from India, and in England he is incapable of relating to and identifying with the traditional values of what was once a colonial power", the Nobel judges said.

His politics, behaviour and judgment were often suspect but it is hard to fault V.S. Naipaul's writing. "He was very scrupulous about his writing, very severe, too".

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"His writing style, general mode of characterisation was so good and it often has been perceived as problematic rightist kind of politics".

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled demise of the Nobel laureate.

Naipaul's books on Islamic fundamentalism - the 1981 work Among the Believers and the 1998 book Beyond Belief - were written after he travelled through non-Arab "converted" Islamic countries. "Condolences to his family and well wishers in this sad hour".

The family said in a statement late Saturday that the novelist had died at his London home.

"A loss for the world of letters and for the broader school of Indo-Anglian literature", he said.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said whether one agrees or disagrees with him, Naipaul wrote attractive prose.

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