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A collection of quotes and thoughts by V.S. Naipaul on exile, racism, writing, freedom, politics, inspiration, ideologies, life, irony, change, literature and emotion.

26 Prominent V.S. Naipaul Quotes

Quick Facts

Famous As: Writer

Born On: August 17, 1932

Died On: August 11, 2018

Born In: Chaguanas

Died At Age: 85

V.S. Naipaul is a distinguished British writer, novelist and short-story writer. He was inspired by his journalist father’s admiration towards writers and determined to become a writer at a very early age. After completing his graduation from the University of Oxford he was hired as a presenter of a BBC weekly program ‘Caribbean Voices’. He started his writing career with a short-story 'Bogart’ which although was not published but brought him an opportunity to publish his first novel ‘The Mystic Masseur’. He further wrote a travelogue portraying India during the sixties through his perspective. This was well-received by the masses which encouraged him to further write novels on India like ‘India: A Wounded Civilization’. His novel ‘A Bend in the River’ which described the life of Indian-Muslim shopkeeper’s life in an unknown African country was shortlisted for the ‘Booker Prize’. He is also well-known for his non-fiction novels including ‘India: A Million Mutinies Now’. His most notable work was ‘In a Free State’ which won him the ‘Man Booker Prize’. He was honored with the most reputed ‘Noble Prize in Literature’ for his contributions to the literary world. His thoughts, books, novels, fiction and non-fiction work have been able to strike a chord with the masses. We have excerpted his quotes from his wrtitings, speeches, views and general life. Here are few notable sayings and quotations by V.S. Naipaul which are sure to appeal you.
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The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.

V.S. Naipaul

The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.

V.S. Naipaul

Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.

V.S. Naipaul

Non-fiction can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies.

V.S. Naipaul

It is wrong to have an ideal view of the world. That's where the mischief starts. That's where everything starts unravelling...

V.S. Naipaul

After all, we make ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities.

V.S. Naipaul

His ignorance seemed to widen with everything he read.

V.S. Naipaul

Like many isolated people, they were wrapped up in themselves and not too interested in the world outside.

V.S. Naipaul

It isn't that there's no right and wrong here. There's no right.

V.S. Naipaul

And it was strange, I thought, that sorrow lasts and can make a man look forward to death, but the mood of victory fills a moment and then is over

V.S. Naipaul

Small things start us in new ways of thinking

V.S. Naipaul

[In]the too solid three-dimensional city, I could never feel myself as anything but spectral, disintegrating, pointless, fluid.

V.S. Naipaul

Life is a helluva thing. You can see trouble coming and you can't do a damn thing to prevent it coming. You just got to sit and watch and wait.

V.S. Naipaul

Certain emotions bridge the years and link unlikely places.

V.S. Naipaul

On the front cover of Newsweek reviews "A House for Mr. Biswas" as "a marvelous prose epic that matches the best 19th century novels for richness of comic insight and final, tragic power.

V.S. Naipaul

Some lesser husbands built a latrine on the hillside.

V.S. Naipaul

Paradise seemed further away than India, but Hell had become a bit closer

V.S. Naipaul

Government that breaks its own laws can also easily break you.

V.S. Naipaul

It was in that garage that Alec worked, no longer wearing red bodices or peeing blue, but doing mysterious greasy things.

V.S. Naipaul

Doing many more things until it seemed that ritual had replaced grief.

V.S. Naipaul

A complying memory has obliterated many of them and edited my childhood down to a brief cinematic blur.

V.S. Naipaul

How we flounder when emotion overtakes us.

V.S. Naipaul

But the people I found, the people I was attracted to were not unlike myself. They were trying to find order in their world, looking for the centre..

V.S. Naipaul

Anybody can be decisive during a panic; it takes a strong man to act during a boom.

V.S. Naipaul

More than England to the British West Indian or even Holland to the Surinamer, France is the mother country to the Martiniquan.

V.S. Naipaul

It was a light which gave solidity to everything and drew colour out from the heart of objects.

V.S. Naipaul