Shiva Naipaul Wiki, Age, Family, Death Biography & More

Shiva Naipaul

Shiva Naipaul (1945-1985) was an Indo-Trinidadian and British novelist as well as a journalist. He wrote several notable works like Fireflies (1970), The Chip-Chip Gatherers (1973), North of South (1978), Black & White (1980), A Hot Country (1983), and a collection of fiction and nonfiction, Beyond the Dragon’s Mouth: Stories and Pieces (1984).


Shivadhar Srinivasa Naipaul was born on Sunday, 25 February 1945 (age 40 years at the time of death) in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Shiva Naipaul went to Queen’s Royal College, and St Mary’s College in Trinidad, then emigrated to Britain. He won a scholarship to study Chinese at University College, Oxford. He gained his education from Queen’s Royal College and later from St Mary’s College in Trinidad. He immigrated to Britain after winning a scholarship that enabled him to study Chinese at University College, Oxford.


He belonged to a Capildeo family.


Parents & Siblings

Shiva Naipaul’s father, Seepersad Naipaul, was an English-language journalist. He started writing stories for the Trinidad Guardian, the oldest daily newspaper of Trinidad and Tobago, in 1929 and became a correspondent for the Chaguanas province in 1932. In 1953, Shiva Naipaul’s father had a coronary thrombosis and due to his health issues, he lost his job at the Guardian. In October 1953, Seepersad Naipaul died. In the 1880s, Shiva Naipaul‘s paternal and maternal family migrated from British India to work as indentured labourers on a sugar plantation. He had an elder brother, V. S. Naipaul, who was a Trinidadian-born British writer. V. S. Naipaul died at his home in London on 11 August 2018.

Seepersad Naipaul, father of Shiva Naipaul

Seepersad Naipaul, father of Shiva Naipaul

Shiva Naipaul with his brother, V.S.Naipaul

Shiva Naipaul with his brother, V.S.Naipaul

Wife & Children

Shiva Naipaul was married to Jenny Stuart. He met her at Oxford. Jenny Stuart worked as a secretary at The Spectator magazine. Their union brought forth a son named Tarun.


Shiva Naipaul's signature


In Naipaul’s first two novels, Fireflies (1970) and The Chip-Chip Gatherers (1973), he focuses on Trinidad’s Indian Hindu community. The Chip-Chip Gatherers delves further into Naipaul’s native community, providing insightful commentary on society that is both heart-wrenching and humorous, although the humour is less pronounced than in the first novel, resulting in an increasing sense of bleakness. Fireflies depicts societal change through the decline of an old family, while The Chip-Chip Gatherers follows a social climber who seizes opportunities to improve his position.Ā  His third book, A Hot Country (1983), takes place in the made-up nation of Cuyama located in South America.


  • FirefliesĀ (1970)
    Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul
  • The Chip-Chip GatherersĀ (1973)
    The Chip-Chip Gatherers by Shiva Naipaul
  • A Hot Country (1983)
    A hot country Shiva Naipaul


After the first two novels, Naipaul took a break from fiction writing. Instead, he turned to non-fiction, producing several acclaimed works like North of South: An African Journey (1978), which combines travel writing with social and political commentary and is based on the author’s visit to Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Black and White (1980) is a bold work and an enthralling read, an exhaustive study of a tragedy.

  • North of SouthĀ (1978)
    North of South by Shiva Naipaul
  • Black & White (1980)
    Black and White by Shiva Naipaul
  • An Unfinished Journey (1986)
    Journey to Nowhere by Shiva Naipaul


Naipaul released Beyond the Dragon’s Mouth (1984), a collection of fictional stories and non-fiction articles that continue to examine and discuss Indian, African, and Caribbean societies, as well as the author’s experiences living in England.

  • Beyond the Dragon’s Mouth: Stories and PiecesĀ (1984)
    Beyond the Dragon's Mouth-Stories and Pieces by Shiva Naipaul
  • A Man of Mystery and Other Stories (1995)
    A Man of Mystery and Other Stories by Shiva Naipaul

Awards, Honours, Achievements

  • Shiva Naipaul received the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize from the Royal Society of Literature and the New Statesman award in Britain for his first novel Fireflies (1970).
  • Ā In 1973, he won the Whitbread Award for his second novel titled “The Chipchip Gatherers”.
  • Naipaul was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1978 and his work in journalism included two pieces of non-fiction,Ā North of SouthĀ (1978) andĀ Black & WhiteĀ (1980).
  • Shiva Naipaul is among 22 authors who were named on the longlist for a one-off Lost Man Booker Prize for books published in 1970. [1]Hindustan Times.


On Tuesday night, 13 August 1985, Shiva Naipaul had a fatal heart attack while working at his desk and died at the age of 40 in London.


  • In an essay V. S. Naipaul wrote forĀ The New Yorker, published in 2019,

    It did not surprise me. He was a drinking man, and I had seen death on his face the previous year, at the funeral of my younger sister.”

  • In 2008, Christopher Hitchens wrote an article for The Atlantic praising Shiva Naipaul’s first novel, Fireflies, as “one of the best tragicomic novels of our time.”
  • The literary archive of Shiva Naipaul is currently in possession of the British Library. This collection comprises autograph and typescript drafts of his works of fiction, non-fiction, and travel writing, as well as research and drafts related to his articles, short stories, and prose. Additionally, the archive includes a series of autograph notebooks filled with notes and research that Shiva Naipaul gathered during his travels to India, Trinidad and Tobago, Surinam, Guyana, America, South Africa, Africa, and Australia.


Add Comment

Don`t copy text!