Born: August 17, 1932
Achievement: Won Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001; Won the
Booker Prize in 1971 and became the first person of Indian origin do so.
V.S. Naipaul is a noble laureate who won Nobel Prize in Literature in
2001. Though of Indian origin, V.S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad and is
currently a British citizen.
V.S. Naipaul (Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul) was born on August 17,
1932, at Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago. His forefathers came as
indentured labourers from India. Naipaul's upbringing familiarised him
with every sort of deprivation, material and cultural. He got a
scholarship to Oxford University and thus came to England. It was at
Oxford that V.S. Naipaul discovered the writer in him.
Naipaul traveled extensively in India and Africa. At that time
decolonisation was taking place and Sir V.S. Naipaul observed from close
quarters the resulting turmoil of emotions. These observations were
reflected in his writings. V.S. Naipaul has written about slavery,
revolution, guerrillas, corrupt politicians, the poor and the oppressed,
interpreting the rages so deeply rooted in our societies.
V.S. Naipaul's fiction and especially his travel writing have been
criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third
World. But his supporters argue that he is actually an advocate for a
more realistic development of the Third World. V.S. Naipaul's contempt
for many aspects of liberal orthodoxy is uncompromising, but at the same
time he has exhibited an open-mindedness toward some Third World leaders
and cultures that isn't found in western writers.
V.S. Naipaul has discussed Islam in several of his books and he has
been criticised for harping on negative aspects of Islam. V.S. Naipaul's
support for Hindutva has also been controversial. He has been quoted
describing the destruction of the Babri Mosque as a "creative
passion", and the invasion of Babur in the 16th century as a "mortal
V.S. Naipaul has won several awards and honors for his writings. In
1971, Naipaul won the Booker Prize for his book "In a Free State"
and became the first person of Indian origin do so. He won the Jerusalem
Prize in 1983 and Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.