Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul TC (; 17 August 1932 – 11 August 2018), most commonly known as V. S. Naipaul, and informally, Vidia Naipaul, was a Trinidad-born British writer of works of fiction and nonfiction in English. He is known for his comic early novels set in Trinidad, his bleaker later novels of the wider world, and his vigilant chronicles of life and travels. He wrote in prose that was widely admired, but his views sometimes aroused controversy. He published more than thirty books over fifty years.
Naipaul won the Booker Prize in 1971 for his novel In a Free State. In 1989, he was awarded the Trinity Cross, Trinidad and Tobago's highest national honour. He received a knighthood in Britain in 1990, and in 2001, the Nobel Prize in Literature.
In the late 19th century, Naipaul's grandparents had emigrated from India to work in Trinidad's cocoa plantations as indentured servants. His breakthrough novel A House for Mr Biswas was published in 1961. On the fiftieth anniversary of its publication, he dedicated it to Patricia Anne Hale, to whom he was married from 1955 until her death in 1996, and who had served as first reader, editor, and critic of his writings.
He is also known as Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul.
Naipaul died at his home in London at the age of 85 on 11 August 2018, less than a week short of his 86th birthday. His widow, Lady Nadira Naipaul, confirmed her husband's death, saying "e died surrounded by those he loved". The Mail on Sunday editor and friend Geordie Greig informed BBC Radio 4 he was one of those at Naipaul's bedside upon his death, saying: "Nadira talked about a poem by Lord Tennyson, 'Crossing the Bar', which had great resonance and meaning to him and I just turned on my phone and found it and we read it." Sir Salman Rushdie paid the following tribute: "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."
Naipauls's funeral took place at Kensal Green Cemetery.