London: Nobel prize-winning author V S Naipaul, known for his critical commentary on colonialism, idealism, religion and politics, has died at the age of 85, his family said early today. "He was a giant in all that he achieved and he died surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour," his wife Lady Nadira Naipaul said in a statement.
Naipaul wrote more than 30 books of fiction and nonfiction. His first book was 'The Mystic Masseur'. His most celebrated novel, A House for Mr Biswas, was published in 1961.
His other works include the three stories in In a Free State (1971), Guerrillas (1975), A Bend in the River (1979), A Way in the World (1994), The Mimic Men (1967), The Enigma of Arrival (1987), Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples (1998), Half a Life (2001), The Writer and the World (2002) and Literary Occasions (2003), The novel Magic Seeds (2004) - a sequel to Half a Life - and In The Masque of Africa (2010).
He is the recipient of numerous honours, including the Man Booker Prize in 1971 and a knighthood for services to literature in 1990. Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.
In awarding him the prize, the Swedish Academy praised him "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories".
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul was born on August 17, 1932 in Trinidad into an Indian Hindu family and moved to England at 18 after receiving a scholarship to University College, Oxford. He subsequently settled in England, although he travelled extensively thereafter.
Naipaul married Patricia Ann Hale in 1955. After her death in 1996, he married divorced Pakistani journalist Nadira Khannum Alvi. (PTI)