Reports out of the United Kingdom quotes his wife, Lady Naipaul, as confirming his death. He went on to write dozens of books, many dealing with colonialism and its legacy.
Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, a Nobel laureate born in Trinidad, published more than 30 books over five decades, ranging from comic novels set in Trinidad and Tobago to memoir and travel writing.
Naipaul once said that he never felt at home in the community. He was a scourge of anyone who used a clich頯r an un-thought out sentence.
Salman Rushdie, who also disagreed repeatedly with Sir Vidia, said he feels "as sad as if I just lost a beloved older brother".
Another Indian-origin English novelist and journalist Hari Kunzru recalled interviewing him and said: "When we sat down, the first thing he said was 'tell me what you've read and don't".
The book was based on the life of his father Seepersad, who was a reporter for the Trinidad Guardian.
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As a student, he struggled with depression and attempted suicide. He released his first novel, The Mystic Masseur, in 1951.
Critics accused him of holding people of the developing world in contempt even as his diamantine prose won him a series of awards including the Booker prize in 1971, a knighthood in 1989 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.
In awarding him the $1 million Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001, the Swedish Academy praised Naipaul for combining genres into his own style that compels readers "to see the presence of suppressed histories".
It added: "Naipaul is a modern philosopher".
Throughout his career he was outspoken, notably criticising Tony Blair as well as the famous novel of E.M. Forster, A Passage To India.
Naipaul married Patricia Ann Hale in 1955.