Sir VS Naipaul, Nobel Prize-Winning Novelist, Dies at Age 85

VS Naipaul

The family said in a statement late Saturday that the novelist had died at his London home.

"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 endeavour", she said.

His first published novel, “"The Mystic Masseur", written in 1955, was poorly received at first but the following year won the first of his literary awards, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize for young authors. He spent time in Buenos Aires, Argentina to write about its former First Lady Eva Peron, and went to Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia for books about Islam.

British author V.S. Naipaul at his home near Salisbury, Wiltshire, October 11, 2001 after it was announced that he has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Naipaul won the 1971 Booker Prize for his novel In a Free State.

Throughout his career he was outspoken, notably criticising Tony Blair as well as the famous novel of E.M. Forster, A Passage To India.

He also fell out with the American travel writer Paul Theroux, who he had mentored, in a bitter 15-year feud after Theroux discovered a book he had given Naipaul in a second-hand bookshop.

Years before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Naipaul devoted attention to Islamic radicalism in books including Among the Believers and Beyond Belief.

Two months after Hale died, Naipaul married his second wife, Pakistani newspaper columnist Nadira Khannum Alvi.

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