Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul dies at 85

Laureate in literature V. S. Naipaul from Britain arrives for the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prizes at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, Dec. 6, 2001. On Saturday, Naipaul died at age 85. Photo by Gerry Penny/EPA-EFE

Aug. 12 (UPI) — Novelist Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize in literature, died at his home in London, his family said. He was 85.

Trinidad-born author Naipaul, whose writings put a human scale on large events, was selected in 2001 for writing often about “the history of the vanquished.”

His books involved events in his native Trinidad, India, Africa, the Americas, Islamic countries and Great Britain, where he moved when he was 18.

“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 endeavor,” Lady Naipaul said in a statement.

Naipaul published more than 30 books ranging from comics set in his homeland to memoir and travels.

“The Mystic Masseur,” his first published novel that was written in 1955, was poorly received at first, but the following year Naipaul won the first of his literary awards, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize for young authors.

In 1950, he moved to Britain to study at Oxford after winning a government scholarship to study at any commonwealth university in the world.

That journey led him to many other achievements, including being knighted in 1990 and winning the Booker prize in 1971 for his novel “In a Free State.”

In 1993 he won Britain’s biggest literary prize, the David Cohen British Literature Prize.


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