British novelist and Nobel laureate Sir VS Naipaul dies at 85

Bessie Dean
August 15, 2018

Sunday, August 12, it became known that in his house, died in London, Nobel prize victor, 85-year-old Vidyadhar Surajprasad Naipaul.

He also had a hair-raising relationship with author Salman Rushdie, once describing the Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa on Rushdie as "an extreme form of literary criticism".

"Nadira talked about a poem by Lord Tennyson, Crossing The Bar, which had great resonance and meaning to him and I just turned on my phone and found it and we read it".

The British novelist later gained a lot of popularity as he wrote dozens of books, many of which dealt with colonialism and its dark legacy.

In the years that followed, Naipaul was to travel for extensive periods to pen journalistic essays and travel books.

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

The Nobel judges singled out as his "masterpiece" the 1987 work "The Enigma of Arrival".

His first book "The Mystic Masseur" was published in 1951, launching his literary career.

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Naipaul, known as a master of the English language, explored colonialism in his many famous works.

His wife Lady Naipaul called him a "giant in all that he achieved".

He married Patricia Ann Hale in 1955.

FILE PHOTO: Writer V.S. Naipaul (2nd L) looks over his Nobel prize for literature with Medicine victor Sir Paul Nurse (L) and Economics winners George Akerlof and A. Michael Spence (R) at Stockholm's Konserthuset, after receiving it from from Sweden's King Carl Gustaf December 10, 2001.

Mr Naipaul and Mr Theroux had developed a decades-long friendship when in an angry and unforgiving book, Sir Vidia's Shadow: A Friendship Across Five Continents, Mr Naipaul rejected Mr Theroux.

A House for Mr Biswas, published in 1961, is regarded as one of Mr Naipaul's most influential works. "I feel a little bit that way".

Naipaul said at the time: "I don't know his books but I've been aware of his statements". He spent much of his time living quietly in an isolated cottage in Wiltshire, in the English countryside.

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