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V. S. Naipaul

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Sir V.S. Naipaul

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, T.C. (born August 17, 1932, in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago), better known as V. S. Naipaul, is a Trinidadian-born British novelist of Hindu heritage and Indo-Trinidadian ethnicity. Naipaul lives in Wiltshire, England. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001 and was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He is married to Lady Nadira. A scion of the politically powerful Capildeo family, Sir Vidia is the son, older brother and uncle of published authors (Seepersad Naipaul, Shiva Naipaul and Neil Bissoondath respectively).

Both his fiction and his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the third world. Most notably, Edward Said has argued that he "allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution", promoting "colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies" (p. 53). His supporters argue that he is actually an advocate for a more realistic development of the Third World, that he is motivated by a passionate desire for the improvement of the countries which he writes about, and that it is actually the assumptions of the likes of Said which hold them back. Naipaul's contempt for many aspects of liberal orthodoxy is uncompromising. His works have become required reading in some schools within the third world. His later works are also considerably less harsh than his earlier ones.

Naipaul's prominent 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 wound". He views Vijayanagar, which fell in 1565, as the last bastion of native Hindu civilisation. William Dalrymple has argued that this is too simplistic, and that both Vijayanagar and the Mughal empire were hybrid civilisations, combining elements of both cultures.


Contents

Awards

1977 Declined to be Commander of the order of the British Empire

Bibliography

Fiction

Non-fiction

  • The Middle Passage: Impressions of Five Societies - British, French and Dutch in the West Indies and South America (1962)
  • An Area of Darkness- (1964)
  • The Overcrowded Barracoon and Other Articles (1972)
  • India: A Wounded Civilization (1977)
  • A Congo Diary (1980)
  • The Return of Eva Perón (1980)
  • Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1981)
  • Finding the Centre (1984)
  • A Turn in the South (1989)
  • India: A Million Mutinies Now (1990)
  • Homeless by Choice (1992, with R. Jhabvala and S. Rushdie)
  • Bombay (1994, with Raghubir Singh)
  • Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples (1998)
  • Between Father and Son: Family Letters (1999, edited by Gillon Aitken)

Further reading

  • Said, Edward (1986). Intellectuals in the Post-Colonial World. Salmagundi 70-71. 44-64.

External links

de:V. S. Naipaul es:Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul eo:Vidiadhar Surajprasad NAIPAUL fr:Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul hi:विद्याधर सूरजप्रसाद नैपाल hu:Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul nl:V.S. Naipaul no:V.S. Naipaul pl:Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul sa:विद्याधर सूरजप्रसाद नैपाल sv:V.S. Naipaul

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