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V.s. Naipaul Awarded 1983 Jerusalem Prize for Literature

January 27, 1983
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V. S. Naipaul, the 51-year-old writer born in Trinidad of Indian Brahmin parentage and a long-time resident of Britain, is to be awarded the 1983 Jerusalem Prize for literature, at a ceremony at the 11th Jerusalem International Book Fair on April 27, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek and the award committee announced at a press conference yesterday.

Naipaul was described by jury chairman Prof. Ephraim Katzir as “both of the Third World and critical of it.”

The jury, whose other members are Hebrew University philosophy professor Yirmiyahu Yovel and writer A.B. Yehoshua, cited Naipaul for his “successful portrayal of the struggle of the individual to maintain freedom and independence in societies where, despite revolution and political struggle for independence there exists a spiritual decline towards violence and corruption.”

Among Naipaul’s best-known works are, “An Area of Darkness” (1964) about his first confrontation with the India his grandfather left; and his novels, “In a Free State” (1971), “Guerrillas” (1975), and “A Bend in the River” (1979).

His latest book, “Among the Believers” (1981), is a critical look at communism and the increasing militancy of Islam in other countries.

The first recipient of the biennial Jerusalem literature prize was Bertrand Russell, in 1963, and the most recent, in 1981, was Grahame Greene. Others were Max Frisch, Eugene lonesco, Simone de Beauvoir, Oct avio Paz, and Sir Isaiah Berlin. The prize amounts to $3,000 in addition to two air tickets for the recipient to come to Jerusalem to accept it.

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