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Condolences pour in for VS Naipaul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind expressed grief over his passing away

SNS | New Delhi |

Nobel Prize-winning British author VS Naipaul died on Saturday at the age of 85.

Born in 1932 in Chaguanas in Trinidad and Tobago, Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul’s parents were of Indian descent, with the family having arrived there from India in the 1880s.

Naipaul’s death was mourned by many across the world who said his writings would live on.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind expressed grief over his passing away.

“Sir VS Naipaul will be remembered for his extensive works, which covered diverse subjects ranging from history, culture, colonialism, politics and more. His passing away is a major loss to the world of literature. Condolences to his family and well wishers in this sad hour,” PM Modi said in a statement.

READ | Nobel laureate author VS Naipaul dies at 85

The official Twitter account of President Ram Nath Kovind posted: “Sad to learn of the passing of V.S. Naipaul whose books are an penetrative exploration of faith, colonialism and the human condition, in his home in the Caribbean and beyond. A loss for the world of letters and for the broader school of Indo-Anglian literature.”

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted: “Agree or disagree with him, Naipaul wrote beautiful prose. Sad, he is no more. The world of words loses an artful master.”

Taking to Twitter, author Salman Rushdie posted: “We disagreed all our lives, about politics, about literature, and I feel as sad as if I just lost a beloved older brother. RIP Vidia. #VSNaipaul”

English novelist and journalist Hari Kunzru recalled interviewing Naipaul. In a series of posts on Twitter, he described the meeting.

“I interviewed VS Naipaul for BBC TV. When we sat down, the first thing he said was ‘tell me what you’ve read and don’t lie.’ Only then would he consent to be questioned,” he tweeted.

“I made Naipaul cry. I knew he rarely signed books and probably wouldn’t want to put his name on some paperback so I found a 1st of Mr Biswas. He saw it and broke down. Everyone v alarmed. ‘I haven’t seen one of these for so long,’ he said, when he recovered himself,” Kunzru posted, adding “He did sign the book. We were in the room (now part of a hotel) where he had written radio scripts for the BBC when he first came to the UK.”