Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad ('V.S.') Naipaul(1932-), Novelist
Sitter in 5 portraits
Trinidadian-born, of Indian descent, Naipaul's father was a journalist, giving him an early appreciation of reading and writing. On finishing school in Trinidad, he won a scholarship to study at Oxford University, where he met his future wife, critic and editor of his works, Patricia Ann Hale. His first novel The Mystic Masseur (1957) was followed by A House for Mr Biswas (1961), considered his most autobiographical and successful novel. Naipaul's literary themes include identity, exile and post-colonialism; he won the Booker Prize with In a Free State (1971). A prolific writer, he has published over thirty books in five decades. Knighted in 1990, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.