V. S. Naipaul(redirected from Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul)
Naipaul, V. S.
Naipaul, V. S. (Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul) (nīpôlˈ), 1932–2018, English writer, b. Chaguanas, Trinidad; grad. University College, Oxford, 1953. Naipul, whose family descended from Indian Brahmins, lived in England from 1950 on. A master of English prose style and the author of 29 books in many literary genres, he is known for his penetrating analyses of alienation and exile. In fiction and essays marked by stylistic virtuosity and psychological insight, he often focused on his childhood and his travels beyond Trinidad–to South and North America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Writing with increasing irony and pessimism, he often bleakly detailed the dual problems of the Third World: the oppression of colonialism and the chaos of postcolonialism.
Among Naipaul's works of international analysis are The Middle Passage (1962), about the West Indies and South America; an Indian trilogy: An Area of Darkness (1964), India: A Wounded Civilization (1977), and India: A Million Mutinies Now (1990); and The Masque of Africa (2010), on indigenous religions in several African nations. Naipaul's novels include The Mystic Masseur (1957), A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), which brought him international acclaim, In a Free State (1971; Booker Prize), Guerrillas (1975), The Mimic Men (1967), A Bend in the River (1979), and the autobiographical Half a Life (2001) and its sequel, Magic Seeds (2004). He also wrote numerous short stories and such other works as The Enigma of Arrival (1987), A Way in the World (1994), and A Writer's People (2008), autobiographical books combining novel, memoir, and history; Among the Believers (1981) and its sequel, Beyond Belief (1998), analyses of modern Islam and Islamic fundamentalism; and many political essays, a representative sample of which are collected in The Writer and the World (2002). Naipaul was knighted in 1990 and awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.
See F. Jussawalla, ed., Conversations with V. S. Naipaul (1997); his early letters in Between Father and Son: Family Letters (2000, ed. by G. Aitken); memoir by his daughter S. Naipaul Akal, The Naipauls of Nepaul Street (2018); biographies by R. D. Hamner (1973), R. Kelly (1989), and P. French (2008); studies by P. Theroux (1972 and 1998), R. D. Hamner, ed. (1979), P. Nightingale (1987), P. Hughes (1988), T. F. Weiss (1992), W. Dissanayake (1993), B. A. King (1993), J. Levy (1995), F. Mustafa (1995), R. Nixon (1997), N. Ramadevi (1997), A. J. Khan (1998), L. Feder (2001), H. Hayward (2002), and B. King (2003).