Novelist and travel writer V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad. He studied at Oxford University, then moved to London to work for the BBC.

His novels include A House for Mr Biswas, The Enigma of Arrival, A Bend in the River (shortlisted for the 1979 Booker Prize), Half a Life (longlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize) and In a Free State, which won the 1971 Booker Prize. He was also shortlisted, for his entire body of work, for The Man Booker International Prize 2009. His works of non-fiction include Among the Believers, Beyond Belief and The Masque of Africa. In 1990, Naipaul received a knighthood and in 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

V.S. Naipaul

Background

Between 2005 - 2015, the Man Booker International Prize recognised one writer for their achievement in fiction.

Worth £60,000, the prize was awarded every two years to a living author who had published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.

The winner was chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel and there were no submissions from publishers.

The Man Booker International Prize was different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlighted one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In focusing on overall literary excellence, the judges considered a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel. 

Other nominated books

A Bend in the River
Half a Life