Port-of-Spain: People in this Caribbean nation on Sunday mourned the death of their national-icon and Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul, with many calling him “one of greatest gifts to the world”. Naipaul, born in Chaguanas town of Trinidad, died on Saturday evening.
Three newspapers gave prominence to Naipaul’s death with front page articles as his death was announced on Saturday.
He was just a few days shy of his 86th birthday, and Prime Minister Keith Rowley highly praised the late author.
“He was unwavering in his resolve to tell his stories as he saw fit. Moreover, his strength of character was responsible in no small part for his renowned success”.
Rowley said: “This proud son of Trinidad and Tobago established himself as an icon in the literary arts on the global stage and his world renowned achievements caused his birthplace to shine in a positive light.”
Naipaul’s career commenced in the 1950s and he quickly distinguished himself as a writer of considerable skill and during the 1970s his writings focused on post colonial culture in the Caribbean.
Former Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs feels that Naipaul’s work should be a focus of study in the subject of international relations as his writing demonstrated his concerns on colonialism and neo-colonialism.
“This should be the focus for further and advanced studies as the whole concept of international relations has taken new paradigms and awareness.
Jerome Teelucksingh, senior lecturer in University of the West Indies, described Naipaul as a “genius”.
“Naipaul had certain talents and certain gifts and sometimes he came across harsh, crude, he had idiosyncratic behavior, some people saw him as eccentric or odd, but we have to remember that sometimes being a genius comes with certain flaws. We have to recognize the genius and also recognize the flaws within the genius,” Teelucksingh said.
Naipaul went to study at Oxford University, having won a scholarship, and was knighted by Her Majesty, the Queen in 1990, and in 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He also received this country’s highest award, the Trinity Cross.