Writing in The Daily Mail, Geoffrey Levy states that V.S. Naipaul, the Trinidad-born British writer who was born on this day in history, 17 August, 1932, “has not turned a hair” at claims he is “bigoted, arrogant, vicious, racist, a woman-beating misogynist and sado-masochist.”
And I never thought the Argentine guerrillas had a good enough cause. Some were people of the left; some were Peronists, campaigning for the return of the corrupt and old Perón; some wanted Peronism—a mixture of nationalism and socialism and anti-Americanism—without Perón. Some I thought had no cause at all; and some were simple gangsters. They were a mystery to me in 1972, when I first went to Argentina. They were educated, secure, middle-class people, perhaps the first full generation of secure and educated people after the great migrations from Europe earlier in the century, and after the Depression of the 1930s. Yet, barely arrived at privilege, they were—as it seemed to me—trying to pull their world down.
What had driven them to their cause? There would have been the element of mimicry, the wish not to be left out of the political current of the 1960s. “What the students say in America, they want to make concrete here”—I was told this in 1972 by a woman whose guerrilla nephew had been killed by the police: the young man had taken his revolution more seriously than the American students whose equal he wanted to be. Another, younger woman told me how a friend of hers had made his decision. They had gone to the cinema to see Sacco and Vanzetti; afterward her friend had said, “I feelashamed at not being a guerrilla.”
Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (/ˈnaɪpɔːl/ or /naɪˈpɔːl/; born 17 August 1932), is a Trinidad-born Nobel Prize-winning British writer known for his comic early novels set in Trinidad, his bleaker later novels of the wider world, and his autobiographical chronicles of life and travels. Naipaul has published more than 30 books, both of fiction and nonfiction, over some 50 years.
Naipaul was married to Patricia Ann Hale from 1955 until her death in 1996. She served as first reader, editor, and critic of his writings. Naipaul dedicated his A House for Mr. Biswas to her. Naipaul married Nadira Naipaul, a former Pakistani journalist, in 1996.