Naipaul Wins Nobel Prize in Literature 2001
11 October 2001 - This year's Nobel Prize for Literature has been
awarded to the Briton V.S. Naipaul.
Of Indian descent,
Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932 and has been living in Britain
since 1950. The Swedish Academy in Stockholm honours the writer "for
having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works
that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories".
The Oxford-educated Naipaul examined post-colonial society.
His literary domain has extended far beyond the West Indian island of
Trinidad, his first subject, and now encompasses India, Africa,
America from south to north, the Islamic countries of Asia and, not
least, England. "Naipaul is Conrads heir as the annalist of
the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human
beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in his memory of what
others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished," the
Swedish Academy said. "In his masterpiece The Enigma of
Arrival Naipaul visits the reality of England like an
anthropologist studying some hitherto unexplored native tribe deep in
the jungle. With apparently short-sighted and random observations he
creates an unrelenting image of the placid collapse of the old
colonial ruling culture and the demise of European neighbourhoods."
Naipaul's critical remarks and assessments of
fundamentalism, Paul Theroux, James Joyce's Ulysses, and
the homosexuality of E.M. Foster and John Maynard Keynes among other
topics have been a source of controversy.
V.S. Naipaul most
important works include A House for Mr Biswas (1961), A
Bend in the River (1979), A Way in the World (1994) and
An Area of Darkness (1964).
This year's Nobel Prize
is worth the equivalent of 1 million EURO and will be presented on 10
December in Stockholm.
The prize for literature was awarded
last year to Gao Zingjian, the Chinese writer living in exile in
France. In 1999, Günter Grass received the prize.
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