V.S. Naipaul's Other Life

A biography of V.S. Naipaul asks, What can and should be sacrificed in the name of art?

While Pat, his adoring and self-sacrificing wife of 40 years, was on her deathbed, V.S. Naipaul was zipping around Pakistan with a new, much younger companion, angry, as she later reported, that his wife "was not dying fast enough because he wanted to carry on with his life." The day after Pat's cremation, he brought the younger woman into their home to be his second wife. "Would you say you have had a happy life?" the Nobel-winning novelist records asking Pat in his diary. "No direct answer," he writes. "It was perhaps my own fault," comes her faint reply.

Such shocking...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!