Nobel Prize-winning author VS Naipaul dies aged 85

British author V.S. Naipaul

Mr Naipaul explored British colonialism unflinchingly in his books and documented human migration, the unraveling of the British Empire and the conflict between belief and unbelief. He went on to write dozens of books, many dealing with colonialism and its legacy, including House for Mr Biswas, Mimic Men, Miguel Street, Mystic Masseur and A Bend in the River.

"He was a scourge of anyone who used a cliché or an un-thought out sentence".

Writer Jeet Heer called him a "powerful novelist" who "at his best approached Conrad and even the shadow of Dickens" while blogger Patrice Yursik described him as a "titan of Caribbean literature".

It was based on the life of his father Seepersad, who was a reporter for the Trinidad Guardian. From there he traveled to the United Kingdom and entered the University of Oxford in 1950 after winning a government scholarship.

Other honours awarded to him throughout his life included the Booker Prize in 1971, the David Cohen Literature Prize in 1993 and a knighthood from the Queen in 1990.

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As a student, he struggled with depression and attempted suicide.

Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, popularly known as Sir Vidia, was born in 1932 in Chaguanas on the island of Trinidad and Tobago, to a family that had arrived from India in the 1880s.

Ten years later he would release what is considered his masterpiece, A House for Mr Biswas.When he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the committee noted that his books "compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories". "In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony".

Booker Prize-winning Indian-origin author Salman Rushdie, who had clashed with Naipaul over the years, also paid tribute on Twitter.

Naipaul was also outspoken throughout his career, likening former British prime minister Tony Blair to a pirate at the head of a socialist revolution.

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