Advertisement
 
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsV S Naipaul
IN THE NEWS

V S Naipaul

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
October 12, 2001 | MARJORIE MILLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
V.S. Naipaul, a master of prose and controversial interpreter of the developing world, won the centenary Nobel Prize for literature Thursday for "works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." A perennial outsider, Naipaul, 69, was born on the island of Trinidad to parents of Indian descent and moved to Britain more than 50 years ago. He writes in English about what he has called "half-made" societies in the Caribbean, India, Africa and Asia.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2010 | By Davan Maharaj, Los Angeles Times
The Masque of Africa Glimpses of African Belief V.S. Naipaul Alfred A. Knopf: 256 pp., $26.95 V.S. Naipaul's world is what it is, a place with little sentimentality for the powerless. That world has been constructed from more than five decades of writing by the Trinidad-born author, who took it upon himself to travel to faraway places and, among other things, to explain displaced persons like himself, an East Indian deposited by colonialism in the West Indies. Naipaul traversed Africa, India and the Muslim world when travels to these places were not plebeian acts but intrepid affairs.
Advertisement
NEWS
March 15, 1989 | JOSH GETLIN, Times Staff Writer
V. S. Naipaul has no patience with the Western writers and critics who have denounced the Ayatollah Khomeini's death threat against novelist Salman Rushdie. Instead, he blasts the so-called "good people" for their hypocrisy and short memories. In 1981, Naipaul said, several leading critics attacked his book, "Among the Believers," as a racist view of the Islamic world. It was almost fashionable to deplore his travelogue, which upset many Muslim readers, he recalled.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2008 | Thomas Meaney, Meaney is a New York-based critic and reviewer.
Literary biographies are a bulimic business. The writer packs down as much life as he can in his books; the biographer tries to force it back up. No one expected V.S. Naipaul, the tetchiest writer alive, to submit to this kind of indignity. But seven years ago, shortly after winning the Nobel Prize, he granted Patrick French unrestricted access. The result is an unflinching account of the 20th century's unlikeliest literary giant.
BOOKS
March 22, 1987 | RICHARD EDER
The colonial experience and the adoptive experience resemble each other in this: Both may set off a never-concluded search for an elusive identity. Trinidad is V. S. Naipaul's land of origin and the subject of a part of his writing. It was his home, but it was shadowed by another home. England was a lure, an undermining distance. Who was this oddly beneficent, sometimes inviting, and suddenly indifferent stranger? What was she to him?
NEWS
March 15, 1989 | JOSH GETLIN, Times Staff Writer
The little man sits imperiously behind a desk, his eyes sweeping the room with distaste. Stiff, distant and reserved, he looks like an Oxford don anxious to dismiss an unwanted visitor and get on with his work. With an irritated wave of his hand, he signals that the questions can begin. But not just any questions. In an icy British accent, the celebrated author V. S. Naipaul says he cannot be bothered with queries about the meaning of his novels and nonfiction.
BOOKS
March 5, 1989 | Caryl Phillips, Phillips' new novel, "Higher Ground," will be published by Viking in September. and
The major theme of V. S. Naipaul's work was initially developed in "An Area of Darkness" (1964), the first of his two nonfictional accounts of India. The theme is that of the past, the dangers of a retreat into a romantic past; a withdrawal not so much inspired by a desire to inhabit the past as prompted by a wish to close one's eyes on the present.
BOOKS
August 18, 2002 | VIVIAN GORNICK, Vivian Gornick is a contributing writer to Book Review.
If ever there was a writer who made a supreme virtue out of an enduring necessity, surely that writer is V.S. Naipaul. The virtue is the bright, burning development of an unusually strong intelligence; the necessity is a temperament that nurses humiliation as one would nurse a seeping wound. The result: 50 years of literary interpretation of this, our one and only world, almost exclusively in terms of its crippling meanness.
BOOKS
January 13, 1991 | Geoffrey Moorhouse, Moorhouse is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and author of three books on the Indian subcontinent. and
It's almost 30 years since Vidiadhar Naipaul first visited India, the land of his ancestors. The book he wrote about his experiences then, "An Area of Darkness," read like one of his novels, especially in its balance between narrative and dialogue. It was the work of a fastidious and rather lofty man who did not find the subcontinent edifying.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2008 | Thomas Meaney, Meaney is a New York-based critic and reviewer.
Literary biographies are a bulimic business. The writer packs down as much life as he can in his books; the biographer tries to force it back up. No one expected V.S. Naipaul, the tetchiest writer alive, to submit to this kind of indignity. But seven years ago, shortly after winning the Nobel Prize, he granted Patrick French unrestricted access. The result is an unflinching account of the 20th century's unlikeliest literary giant.
BOOKS
November 21, 2004 | Richard Eder, Richard Eder, the former book critic for The Times, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.
Willie CHANDRAN has been released from a prison term in India for involvement in a guerrilla group and deported to Britain through the efforts of an activist London lawyer. A super-rich banker, a dabbler in fashionable causes, invites him for a weekend at his country estate. Reminding him of the clothes snobbery of servants, the lawyer warns that they will unpack his modest suitcase. "It sounds like jail," Willie says. "They're always unpacking for you there." V.S.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 1, 2003 | Merle Rubin, Special to The Times
From the age of 11, V.S. Naipaul had the consuming ambition to be a writer but, by his own account, lacked most, if not all, of the proclivities usually associated with a literary vocation. But in the long run, as we all know, this would not prevent him from becoming the author of some two dozen estimable works of fiction and nonfiction and being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 2001. Unlike most children who grow up to be writers, young Naipaul was not an avid reader.
BOOKS
August 18, 2002 | VIVIAN GORNICK, Vivian Gornick is a contributing writer to Book Review.
If ever there was a writer who made a supreme virtue out of an enduring necessity, surely that writer is V.S. Naipaul. The virtue is the bright, burning development of an unusually strong intelligence; the necessity is a temperament that nurses humiliation as one would nurse a seeping wound. The result: 50 years of literary interpretation of this, our one and only world, almost exclusively in terms of its crippling meanness.
BOOKS
October 21, 2001 | LEE SIEGEL, Lee Siegel is a contributing writer to Book Review and a contributing editor to Harper's and The New Republic
V.S. Naipaul hates poverty. He hates the miserable material and intellectual conditions he encountered in his travels to Islamic countries; he hates the sordidness of Third World regimes. He is less interested in the suffering imposed by colonialism, which he knows and acknowledges, than he is in the suffering that he observes in the urgent present. For Naipaul's critics, however, it is rank snobbery merely to record the degradations of poverty or to register one's disgust at poverty.
NEWS
October 15, 2001 | TIM RUTTEN, TIMES CULTURE CORRESPONDENT
Every truly modern writer is a nation without a flag--a sovereign consciousness, a government of the imagination. When it awarded V.S. Naipaul the Nobel Prize for Literature lastweek, the Swedish Academy resoundingly affirmed the importance of those facts and of the values--pluralism, tolerance and democracy--that are literary modernism's moral companions. Those who care about the modern culture that is the West's great contribution to the world stand badly in need of such an affirmation.
NEWS
October 12, 2001 | MARJORIE MILLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
V.S. Naipaul, a master of prose and controversial interpreter of the developing world, won the centenary Nobel Prize for literature Thursday for "works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." A perennial outsider, Naipaul, 69, was born on the island of Trinidad to parents of Indian descent and moved to Britain more than 50 years ago. He writes in English about what he has called "half-made" societies in the Caribbean, India, Africa and Asia.
NEWS
October 15, 2001 | TIM RUTTEN, TIMES CULTURE CORRESPONDENT
Every truly modern writer is a nation without a flag--a sovereign consciousness, a government of the imagination. When it awarded V.S. Naipaul the Nobel Prize for Literature lastweek, the Swedish Academy resoundingly affirmed the importance of those facts and of the values--pluralism, tolerance and democracy--that are literary modernism's moral companions. Those who care about the modern culture that is the West's great contribution to the world stand badly in need of such an affirmation.
BOOKS
April 16, 2000 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
Why is it that kitsch is even funnier in print than in person? Perhaps it's the solemnity of the black and white pages, the elegance of print underscoring the brassy, colorful absurdity of kitsch. Sarah Vowell is a madonna of Americana, applying the same ironic evil eye to Disney World as, say, Joan Didion applied to El Salvador or Miami. " 'Disney World,' " she quotes her traveling companion, David, " 'is like the liver of the country where the blood of America gets filtered.'
BOOKS
August 2, 1998 | NIKKI R. KEDDIE, Nikki R. Keddie, a professor of Middle Eastern history at UCLA, is the author of "Iran and the Muslim World."
In today's world, the yearning for simple solutions to complex political and economic problems is palpable. Nationalism and other forms of identity politics are everywhere; communism in various forms has not completely lost its appeal despite the collapse of the Soviet Union; and "free market fundamentalism" is a new gospel. Many people are especially troubled by Islam, often regarded as an inherently intolerant religion.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|