Novelist Sir VS Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize in literature, has died aged 85, his family have said.
Sir Vidia, who was born in rural Trinidad in 1932, wrote more than 30 books including A Bend in the River and his masterpiece, A House for Mr Biswas.
His wife Lady Naipaul called him a "giant in all that he achieved".
She said he died at his home in London "surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour".
Geordie Greig, editor of the Mail on Sunday and a close friend, said his death leaves a "gaping hole in Britain's literary heritage" but there is "no doubt" that his "books live on".
Sir Vidia, who as a child was read Shakespeare and Dickens by his father, was raised a Hindu and attended Queen's Royal College in Trinidad.
He moved to Britain and enrolled at Oxford University in 1950 after winning a government scholarship giving him entry into any Commonwealth university of his choosing.
As a student, he struggled with depression and attempted suicide.
His first book, The Mystic Masseur, was published in 1951 and a decade later he published his most celebrated novel, A House for Mr Biswas, which took over three years to write.
Sir Vidia, who was on a broadcaster for the BBC's Caribbean service between 1957 and 1961, was one of the first winners of British literary award the Booker Prize, for In A Free State in 1971.
His first wife, Patricia Hale, died in 1996 and he went on to marry Pakistani journalist, Nadira.
Sir Vidia was outspoken and is known for criticisms of Tony Blair - who he described as a "pirate" - as well as Charles Dickens and EM Forster.
He also fell out with the American travel writer Paul Theroux, who he had mentored, in a bitter 15-year feud after Theroux discovered a book he had given Naipaul in a second-hand bookshop. They later reunited.