Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul is dead

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The British author, who won a Nobel Prize for his work that explored colonialism, has died at aged 85. His most famous works include A House for Mr. Biswas, An Area of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization, and A Bend in the River.

A statement released by the family today said the novelist died at his London home.

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.

But he spent much of his time travelling and despite becoming a pillar of Britain's cultural establishment, was also a symbol of modern rootlessness.

In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.

Celebrated for his extensive commentary on both, colonisers and colonised, in fiction and non-fiction, V S Naipaul walked the controversy tightrope, admired for his prose but scorned by those who perceived him as an apologist for imperial powers.

Naipaul was awarded $1 million Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.

During his early career Naipaul was dogged by money worries and loneliness.

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She died in 1996, and he later revealed that he felt he hastened her death by publicly admitting, while she fought cancer, that he had frequented prostitutes.

The admission "consumed her".

Theroux said there had been a "great satisfaction in reconnecting", adding it "took him a long time to make his mark, but when he did, it happened in a big way".

He had a quarter-century, sometimes violent, affair with an Argentinian, and he married Pakistani journalist Nadira Alvi the same year Pat died. "I can't listen to banalities".

Naipaul, whose books often dealt with colonialism and attacked religion, politicians and pillars of the literary establishment, also had a tense relationship with author Salman Rushdie, once describing the Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa on Rushdie as "an extreme form of literary criticism". "They want me to know my place", he wrote bitterly to his wife. "I think (it is) unequal to me", he told the London Evening Standard newspaper in 2011.

In an interview in 2011, Naipaul raised eyebrows when he said he did not consider any female author to be his equal.

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

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