VS Naipaul full name is Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul. He was born on August 17, 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago. In 1957 he moved to London and has lived in England for most of his life. He is also a member of the Royal Literary Society. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. Naipaul writes about India which he says was an important part of his adult life. He has won many prestigious awards including the Nobel Prize for Literature.
About VS Naipaul
V. S. Naipaul was born on August 17, 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago. He has lived in England since 1957 and became a British citizen in 1962. His first novel was published when he was twenty-eight years old. Naipaul started his literary career as an author writing about India, family life and politics and his books have covered these subjects for much of his career.
Life of Naipaul
He was born on the 17th of August, 1932 in Trinidad and Tobago. He was the second child of seven children. His father was a journalist and English literature teacher who encouraged Naipaul to read books and go to a good school. His mother was a devout Hindu who read scriptures every day.
Naipaul’s father wanted him to attend university in an English-speaking country so he sent his son to England for training at University College, Oxford. He did not speak any English when he arrived in England but before long he could speak it well enough to get by.
He attended University College in Oxford, England where he did his undergraduate degree. Afterward he wrote more than seventy books and hundreds of essays. He published two volumes of autobiography in 1990 and 1994. He also wrote two autobiographies: A Way in the World (1979) and An Area of Darkness (1994).
He married Patricia Ann Hale in 1955 and had two children, novelist and TV journalist, Shiva Naipaul and writer, Vanessa Naipaul. He also has a family estate in Wiltshire which is about 150 acres. In the 1980s he bought a house in southern France near Aix-en-Provence.
He held a job with the BBC as an educational advisor for its Caribbean Service in London. He also worked with the British Colonial Service in Uganda, West Africa. After his wife died he moved to a small village near Salisbury, Wiltshire. He wrote about his travels through these countries in India, South America and other parts of Asia.
Naipaul had a long and difficult relationship with the country of India, which he described as the world’s greatest failure.
His first trip to India was when he went there at age 22 with his father and brothers to volunteer as a teacher after completing his studies in England.
Naipaul’s first book was a collection of travel writing called Caribbean Voices (1962).
A Way in the World
In his second book he wrote about his travels through several countries in Latin America including: Brazil, Chile, Peru, Guatemala and Guatemala. He called this book, A Way in the World (1979).
A Full Life
After his experience living abroad he wrote about his life and travels in A Full Life (1984). In this book Naipaul told of his time in Africa as a student before going to live with his father and uncle. He then went on to write An Area of Darkness (1994) which took him back to Europe after living there for over twenty years.
His next book which was published five years after that one was called A Turn in the South, which he said inspired some of his later work.
A Note of Excess
When he wrote about the American South in America (1984), Naipaul did not have the best things to say about his fellow countrymen.
Naipaul’s next book after that is One Writer’s Beginnings (1987) where he talked about his early career as a writer. It also includes an essay on writing called: “Novelists Have to Be Bad”. He also discussed why he wrote so many books rather than one big one and why he preferred writing short stories over novels.
His next book, An African novel (1989) was about the political situation in the south of Africa. In this book Naipaul discussed a writer named Michael X who was hanged for murdering one of his followers.
Naipaul also wrote The Return of Eva Peron, a biography in 1984 which he called one of his best books. Other interesting books are: Beyond Belief (1998), Half A Life (2001), The Masque of Africa (2005) and Magic Seeds (2007).
Achievements and Awards
Naipaul has won many awards throughout his career including being knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1990 for his services to literature.