V.S. Naipaul

(1932 - 2018)

Novelist V.S. Naipaul was born in Chaguanas, Trinidad; the majority of people in his area were Indian. “When I was born,” he said upon receiving his Nobel Prize in literature in 2001, Trinidad “had a population of about 400,000. Of this, about 150,000 were Indians, Hindus and Muslims, nearly all of peasant origin.”

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As a youth, the writer V.S. Naipaul struggled with hysteria. He described watching the film The African Queen while at Oxford: “Just when Bogart said something to Katharine Hepburn about sleeping one off or something, I could take it no longer and left the cinema. What form did it take? One was terrified of human beings. One didn’t wish to show oneself to them.” Naipaul claimed he cured himself over a two-year period. “Intellect and will,” he said, “intellect and will.”

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