This particular will be the gift V.S. Naipaul gave me (opinion)

in addition to the item can be said of which This particular preoccupation with the written word, the centrality of the writing life, was a gift of which V.S. Naipaul gave to younger writers like me in places like India. If I were to speak only for myself, although I know This particular includes many others, I owe everything to him.

I was in a restaurant This particular evening with my wife when I received a message via a writer-friend saying of which V.S. Naipaul had died. My mood slipped. My wife asked what had happened. We tried to talk of different things in addition to then I stopped in addition to admitted to my wife of which I was sad. If I were being honest I might have said of which I felt I needed to dwell inside the feeling of loss. My wife’s response was unambiguous. “He was a bigot,” she said quickly.

I’m telling you This particular because I think my wife’s answer reflects a response of which many people, including those who have a profound respect for Naipaul’s achievements as a writer, will share. The list will be familiar: in one baffling interview after another, the scorn he showed for many women writers; his representation of Islam as a medieval religion full of violence, which I always thought had its origins in his being raised as a diasporic Hindu; his swift, often ahistorical, dismissal of formerly colonized nations as inferior.

Was I being over-dramatic, or defensive, when I said to my wife: “yet suppose one’s father has bigoted views. When he dies, will you still not mourn him?”

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