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Sir V.S. Naipaul

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Sir V.S. Naipaul is a Trinidadian writer of Indian descent known for his novels set in developing countries and the legacy of the British Empire's colonialism. He won the Nobel Prize in 2001 for his novel, Half A Life.

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul was born in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago to parents of Indian descent. At the age of 18, Naipaul won a scholarship to Oxford, where he studies at University College. Prior to becoming a writer, Naipaul briefly worked for the BBC as a writer and editor for their 'Caribnean Voices' programme. His first three books were comic portraits of Trinidadian Society, and were awarded various literary prizes, such as the Somerset Maugham award. His subsequent novels developed political inclinations as he began to write about colonialization and post-colonial societies.

Sir V.S. Naipaul is best known for novels A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), A Bend in the River (1979) and A Way in the World (1994). His novels, set in developing countries, are known for their pessimistic and cynical tone, often referred to as "suppressed histories." He received the Nobel Prize in 2001 for his novel Half a Life, a story about an Indian immigrant to England and Africa. He has also written several works of non-fiction including An Area of Darkness (1965), India: A Wounded Civilization (1977) and Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1981), as well as travel writing and several essays.

Sir V.S. Naipaul was knighted in 1989. He was awarded the David Cohen British Literature Prize by the Arts Council of England in 1993 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. He holds honorary doctorates from Cambridge University and Columbia University in New York, and honorary degrees from the Universities of Cambridge, London and Oxford. Naipaul was celebrated by the New York Times as "a master of modern English prose".

Sir V.S. Naipaul Two Words

This is unusual for me. I have given readings and not lectures. I have told people who ask for lectures that I have no lecture to give. And that is true. It might seem strange that a man who has dealt in words and emotions and ideas for nearly fifty years shouldn't have a few to spare, so to speak. But everything of value about me is in my books.... Nobel Lecture December 7, 2001.

Sir V.S. Naipaul
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