The Nobel Prize for literature has gone to someone who deserves it. Like the great masters of the past, V.S. Naipaul tells stories which show us ourselves and the reality we live in. His use of language is as precise as it is beautiful. Simple, strong words, with which to express the humanity of all of us.

Born in Trinidad in 1932, the descendant of indentured labourers shipped from India, this dispossessed child of the Raj has come on a long and marvellous journey. His upbringing familiarised him with every sort of deprivation, material and cultural. A scholarship to Oxford brought him to this country. Nothing sustained him afterwards except the determination, often close to despair, to become a writer. Against all likelihood, a spirit of pure comedy flows through his early books. It is a saving grace.

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