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V.S. Naipaul Dies: Nobel Prize Winning Author was 85

Author V.S. Naipaul, who documented the Third World and immigrant migrations as the British empire disintegrated, has died. He passed Saturday at age 85 at his London home, according to family members.

The conservative and controversial Naipaul, often compared to Joseph Conrad and Leo Tolstoy, wrote a dozen novels and more than 30 books overall. His most famous works include A House for Mr. Biswas, An Area of DarknessIndia: A Wounded Civilization, and A Bend in the River.

Naipaul was born of Indian ancestry in Trinidad, gained an Oxford University scholarship, and then spent the rest of his life living in England. He was knighted in 1990 and won the Nobe Prize in Literature in 2001. Upon winning the Nobel prize, the  Swedish Academy described him as “a literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice.”

He also won won numerous other major writing prizes, including the Booker in 1971 and the David Cohen British literature prize in 1993. His novel The Mystic Masseur was made into a 2001 TV movie.

Survivors include his wife, Lady Nadira Naipaul. No word on memorial services was immediately available.


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