This is unusual for me. I have given readings and not lectures. I have told people who ask for lectures that I have no lecture to give. And that is true.

V. S. Naipaul

Whatever extra there is in me at any given moment isn’t fully formed. I am hardly aware of it; it awaits the next book. It will – with luck – come to me during the actual writing, and it will take me by surprise.

V. S. Naipaul

What was past was past. I suppose that was the general attitude.

V. S. Naipaul

We made no inquiries about India or about the families people had left behind. When our ways of thinking had changed, and we wished to know, it was too late. I know nothing of the people on my father’s side; I know only that some of them came from Nepal.

V. S. Naipaul

In Trinidad, where as new arrivals we were a disadvantaged community, that excluding idea was a kind of protection; it enabled us – for the time being, and only for the time being – to live in our own way and according to our own rules, to live in our own fading India.

V. S. Naipaul

Read more quotes from these Nobel Laureates in Literature:

Doris LessingAlice MunroKazuo IshiguroJean Paul Sartre
Mario Vargas LlosaBob DylanPearl S. Buck Albert Camus
J. M. CoetzeeOrhan PamukV.S. Naipaul Seamus Heaney
Ernest HemingwayNadine GordimerG√ľnter GrassKenzaburo Oe
Harold PinterDario FoJose SaramagoWislawa Szymborska
Wole SoyinkaOctavio PazAndre GideGabriel Garcia Marquez
Patrick WhitePablo NerudaSamuel BeckettShmuel Y. Agnon
Bertrand RussellNaguib MahfouzJoseph BrodskyJohn Steinbeck
Salvatore Quasimodo Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThomas MannHermann Hesse

The world outside existed in a kind of darkness; and we inquired about nothing.

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

The world is always in movement.

V. S. Naipaul

The reason is that they define how I have gone about my business. I have trusted to intuition. I did it at the beginning. I do it even now. I have no idea how things might turn out, where in my writing I might go next.

V. S. Naipaul

The biography of a writer – or even the autobiography – will always have this incompleteness.

V. S. Naipaul

That element of surprise is what I look for when I am writing. It is my way of judging what I am doing – which is never an easy thing to do.

V. S. Naipaul

One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.

V. S. Naipaul

It was a good place for getting lost in, a city no one ever knew, a city explored from the neutral heart outward, until after many years, it defined itself into a jumble of clearings separated by stretches of the unknown, through which the narrowest of paths had been cut.

V. S. Naipaul

I came to London. It had become the center of my world and I had worked hard to come to it. And I was lost.

V. S. Naipaul

I have trusted to my intuition to find the subjects, and I have written intuitively. I have an idea when I start, I have a shape; but I will fully understand what I have written only after some years.

V. S. Naipaul

I am the kind of writer that people think other people are reading.

V. S. Naipaul

Each book, intuitively sensed and, in the case of fiction, intuitively worked out, stands on what has gone before, and grows out of it. I feel that at any stage of my literary career it could have been said that the last book contained all the others.

V. S. Naipaul

But everything of value about me is in my books.

V. S. Naipaul

As a child I knew almost nothing, nothing beyond what I had picked up in my grandmother’s house. All children, I suppose, come into the world like that, not knowing who they are.

V. S. Naipaul

Argentine political life is like the life of an ant community or an African forest tribe: full of events, full of crisis and deaths, but life is always cyclical, and the year ends as it begins.

V. S. Naipaul

All the details of the life and the quirks and the friendships can be laid out for us, but the mystery of the writing will remain. No amount of documentation, however fascinating, can take us there.

V. S. Naipaul

I’m the kind of writer that people think other people are reading.

V. S. Naipaul

I will say I am the sum of my books.

V. S. Naipaul