Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, who was born in Trinidad in 1932, died in England in August 2018. In the period since Naipaul’s death many obituaries have appeared, but despite his Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001 little recent academic scholarship on his work has been published, and few international meetings have been devoted to his work. He is at present more noteworthy for being controversial than for being one of the great writers of the twentieth century. One cannot yet write about Naipaul without first confronting this fact in one way or another.
One of the few substantial pieces of scholarship to appear since Naipaul’s death is Sanjay Krishnan’s book V.S. Naipaul’s Journeys. Krishnan argues persuasively that the way Naipaul used his own life story and experiences, including his interactions with the people he met on his travels, enabled him to create ‘an original form of postcolonial writing’.