V.S. Naipaul deserves another award

I just read a couple of excerpts from The World Is What It Is, Patrick French’s biography of Nobel Prize-winning writer Sir V.S. Naipaul. The Naipaulfirst excerpt concerns Naipaul’s relationship with three women: his late wife, Pat; his mistress of 23 years, Margaret Gooding; and his current wife, Nadira, who virtually became his fiancée before Pat’s death.

After the cremation, Vidia returned to
Dairy Cottage and took photographs of Pat’s meagre possessions: her
bed, her spectacles, her shoes, her medicines, and the snow outside.
Angela the housekeeper went to Sainsbury’s to buy food: cheese, Cox’s
apples, black and green olives. Vidia noted on the receipt: "The olives
were for Nadira, arriving on the 9th Feb." A local taxi drove Vidia up
to Heathrow to collect Nadira, while Angela, shocked to the core,
prepared the food for his bride. And so it was that on the day after he
had cremated his wife, V.S. Naipaul invited a new woman into her
house—or his house—and the funeral green olives did coldly furnish
forth the marriage tables. [Link]

His actions may seem cold and callous, but we have to remember, this is Sir V.S. Naipaul we’re talking about, the greatest living writer, a man whose presence in the world is a blessing to us, and the least we can do to show our gratitude is ensure that he isn’t for a single day deprived of sex.

The second excerpt concerns Naipaul’s visits to India, his ancestral land.

Travelling through the country, Vidia
milked his hosts for information, and was happy to dismiss many of them
afterwards as fools and idlers. In his journal, he noted: "One felt the
irrelevance of this middle-class element, so parasitic…offering
nothing of value really, speaking only to their own group. (Prem
Shankar) Jha assaulted me. He allowed no conversation to develop. No
idea was explored. He was the Indian journalist making simple patterns
of simple facts. Such shoddy ideas adrift in this society." Prem
Shankar Jha remembered, "He was always looking for offence, looking for
the hidden barb. He had already decided what he wanted to say, and was
looking for evidence." [Link]

We have to remember, this is Sir V.S. Naipaul we’re talking about, the greatest living writer, a man of such eminence, we should be bottling his pee for future generations.

We should be in awe of his wisdom. We should marvel at whatever he writes, whatever he says, whatever he spews.

We should also give him another award. The Nobel Prize just isn’t good enough. Too many writers get it, authors who could only dream to write books good enough for him to sneeze on. What we need is a special award, one that will be named after him and distinguish him forever: The Naipaul Prize for the Greatest Living Writer Who’s Also An Asshole.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. viswapraneet says:

    Dear Melvin,
    Last week I was reading this article on Outlook India (am from Bangalore, India btw) – and had very similar feelings. He’s different that’s why he’s a great writer it seems…Its so fashionable to be ill-mannered these days.
    Btw, I regularly read your columns and can positively claim to have read all your columns to date 🙂 you bring so much cheer & laughter to people who read your columns. These things have a way of returning back to the source multiple-fold; so I wish you and your family all the very best in this world.
    Kind regards and thanks…
    (am a tamizh nattuppenn btw)

  2. viswapraneet says:

    It should read:
    article in Outlook India

  3. Thanks, Viswa. Not sure if I should be happy that you’ve read all my columns. There are at least a few that should have been sent to the trash bin!

  4. Dear i feel naipaul is really misinterpret the facts of history and the poor man is very politically handled by his sharped wife nadira.

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