Born in Trinidad of Hindu parents, V. S. Naipaul was educated at Oxford University and has lived in Great Britain since 1950. With an exile's sensibility, Naipaul's writing is concerned with both the West Indies of his childhood and his strong identification with India. It focuses on personal and political freedom, the function of the writer and the nature of sexuality, and is characterized by clarity, subtlety, and detached irony of tone. The novel, Miguel Street (1959) describes the aberrant lives of a mean street in Port of Spain, Trinidad. A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), his most well-known work, solidified his reputation as a novelist. It tells the tragicomic story of the search for independence and identity of a Brahmin Indian living in Trinidad. Naipaul's work, even when he appears to be analyzing a picturesque character, is really an analysis of the entire society of Trinidad. The Middle Passage (1962) extends this analysis of the social order to other areas of the West Indies including Surinam, Martinique, Jamaica, and Guyana and finds that "the present character of the regions he visited express their history as colonial territories built on slave labor." Naipaul's work also deals with other parts of the world as well. In An Area of Darkness (1964), he expresses with sympathy and insight his observations on a trip to India, where he saw the loftiest of human values contrasted with the meanest physical suffering. His novel, A Bend in the River (1979) set in a new African nation, depicts the difficulties ordinary people face during times of political upheaval. A Turn in the South (1989) is a sensitive portrayal of the American South. Naipaul's works have elicited polarized responses, yet he is regarded by many as one of the best writers of our time, and he is a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he finally won on October 11, 2001.