LONDON -- Trinidad-born author V. S. Naipaul has won Britain's biggest literary prize, the David Cohen British Literature Prize, worth $42,900 'in recognition of a lifetime's achievement,' the Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.
Naipaul, who was knighted in 1990 and won the Booker prize in 1971 for his novel 'In a Free State,' was the first winner of country's largest literary prize.
'It is the British Literature Prize and I like that because this writing career of mine has been conducted here,' said Naipaul, 60.
Naipaul, a native of India, has written more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction set all over the world.
Naipaul said he had reservations about literary prizes, but 'I think it makes it easier for me to accept this because it is acknowledging the long course that one has traveled, acknowledging the development of one's sensibility and one's practise, instead of picking out one little plum and saying this is good, which I think is very hard to do.
David and Veronica Cohen have given more than $1 million to the arts in the past decade, but they agree that prizes given for one work of literary are flawed.
'It's inevitably an arbitary choice to say one person is the best, it's a falsity,' Cohen said.
The arts council has given an additional $14,300 for the winner to hand on to a younger writer of Naipual's choice. He has asked the Society of Authors to select a candidate.