Noted British author and Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, died in London at the age of 85, family sources said on Saturday.

Confirming the news, his wife, Lady Naipaul said in a statement: “He died surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour”.

She described the author as a “giant in everything he achieved”.

Son of an Indian civil servant, Naipaul was born in Trinidad and studied English literature at the Oxford University.

He settled in England but spent much of time travelling and despite becoming a pillar of Britain’s cultural establishment, was also a symbol of modern rootlessness.

Naipaul’s early works focused on the West Indies, but came to encompass countries around the world, often focusing on the traumas of post-colonial change.

When he was awarded the 2001 Nobel prize for literature, the Swedish Academy described him as a “literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice”.

It said he was “the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings”.

“His authority as a narrator is grounded in his memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished,” it said.

In addition to the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, V.S. Naipaul also won the Booker Prize in 1971, and was considered one of the most important writers in the English language of the 20th and 21st centuries, Efe reported.

He was born in Chaguanas, on the island of Trinidad and Tobago, in a family descended from Indian immigrants. From there he traveled to the UK and entered the University of Oxford in 1950 after winning a government scholarship.

He began his literary career in 1961 and since then has written about 30 books, although it was the novel “A House for Mr Biswas” that launched him to fame.

(With inputs from agencies)