Latest Issue

For all his flaws, VS Naipaul was a pioneering genius

The Nobel Prize-winning British author invented post-colonial literature

By Sameer Rahim   September 2018

Naipaul in 1982. Photo: Stefan Lindblom/TT/TT News Agency/Press Association Images

In December 1950, a young Vidia Naipaul wrote a letter from Oxford back to his family in Trinidad. “I want to come top of my group,” he said, “I have got to show these people that I can beat them at their own language.” By all measures of formal public commendation, VS Naipaul, who died on Saturday at the age of 85, came out top of his group. He won the Booker and the Nobel Prize among many other…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect