Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad “V. S.” Naipaul (1932- ) is recognized for his novels, both fictional and non-fictional, as well as his travel writings and essays. His most well-known works include A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), A Bend in the River (1979), The Enigma of Arrival (1987), and In A Free State (1971). Naipaul was born in Trinidad to Indian parents, descendants of indentured laborers. After attaining a scholarship, Naipaul moved to England where he studied at Oxford. His writing contends with issues related to the experience of Western colonization, particularly from the view of the colonized, though in recent years Naipaul has sought to distance himself from postcolonialism. Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.
In 1993, The University of Tulsa acquired the archive of V. S. Naipaul, which contains at present all his manuscripts, correspondence, and memorabilia and is destined to encompass all that he has yet to write. Such treasures bring visitors from near and far to the University to gain the knowledge and understanding that can only come from a direct encounter with unique, original manuscripts that embody high genius, both historic and creative. Currently, the Archive contains more than 50,000 pieces, including manuscripts, correspondence and family memorabilia.
On October 20, Special Collections received another assortment of Naipaul materials, bringing our collection further up to date. The newly-arrived materials consist of 23 binders, containing items dating from the past two decades. Though these new materials are currently unprocessed, a cursory glance revealed such valuable resources as several of Naipaul’s notebooks, professional and personal correspondence, as well as the copy text of Half a Life (2001).