STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- V.S. Naipaul, a writer of aching humor and grim reality, won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday for his "incorruptible scrutiny" of postcolonial society and his critical assessments of Muslim fundamentalism.
Naipaul, 69, a British novelist and essayist born in Trinidad to parents of Indian descent, started with the West Indian island as his first subject. He extended his writings to include India, Africa, "America from south to north," England and the Islamic communities of Asia.
The Nobel Literature Prize, first awarded to French author Sully Prudhomme in 1901, is worth $943,000 in this centennial year.
The 215-year-old Swedish Academy singled out his 1987 autobiographical novel, "The Enigma of Arrival," saying the author created an "unrelenting image of the placid collapse of the old colonial ruling culture and the demise of European neighborhoods."
Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul left Trinidad at the age of 18, when he traveled to England to study at Oxford. Naipaul, whose other famous books include "A House for Mr. Biswas" and "A Bend in the River," writes in English.
The prize committee also pointed to his travel books and documentary works in which he criticizes Muslim fundamentalism in Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan in "Among the Believers" (1981) and "Beyond Belief" (1998).
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