Thursday, 16 August 2018

INCREDIBLE LEGENDS: Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul makes his exit + Music icon Harry Belafonte to receive National Order of Merit

FINAL CHAPTER: Best known for such critically acclaimed efforts as A House for Mr. Biswas, The Mystic Masseur and A Bend in the River, Vidiar Surajprasad (V.S.) Naipaul wrote classic West Indian novels. The British-Trinidadian literary giant, whose other masterpieces include The Enigma of Arrival and In a Free State, passed away recently in the UK. He was 85 years old. Born in Trinidad in 1932 into an Indian family, Naipaul won a scholarship to study at Oxford University and went on to work for the BBC. For most of his life, he lived and worked in the UK. At age 30, he travelled to India, an experience that prompted him to write In a Free State, which won the 1971 Man Booker Prize. For Naipaul, the written word quickly became an indescribable joy. “Writing is the most important aspect of my life,” he once said. “Writing comes from the most secret recesses of the mind. There is no explanation. The explanation is the work itself.” Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1990, Naipaul was awarded the literary world’s highest honour, the Nobel Prize, in 2001. 

GETTING HIS DUE: Joining a rarefied group that includes Bob Marley, Miss Lou and Prof. Rex Nettleford, Harry Belafonte will be conferred with the Order of Merit (OM), Jamaica’s third highest honour, during the National Honours & Awards ceremony at King’s House in October. The global icon, whose work spans entertainment and activism, will be honoured for his eminent contribution to the field of music. Meanwhile, the Order of Jamaica (OJ), will be conferred on Earl Jarrett, Godfrey Dyer, Guisseppi Francesco Mattessanti and pop icon Grace Jones. For the Order of Distinction (in the rank of Commander), the honorees include Maxine Henry-Wilson, Jean Lowrie-Chin, Mayor Homer Davis, Mitsy Seaga and swimming sensation Alia Atkinson. In the rank of Officer, the OD will be presented to Joan Andrea Hutchinson, Bob Clarke, Yellow Man, Novelette Grant and Johnny Gourzong, among several others.

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