Naipaul, just being himself

“Even while Pat was alive, he had spoken publicly – in The New Yorker – of his pleasure in having found sexual satisfaction in middle age with Margaret in Argentina. In this same piece he also delivered himself of some choice Naipaulisms: ‘I have an interesting mind’ and ‘I can’t bear flowers’ and ‘I have no more than a hundred months left’ (that was in 1994; in 1979 he had also said he had only a hundred months left) and ‘I can’t stand the sound of women’s voices.’”

Naipaul meeting Nadira the first time in Pakistan while his wife lay dying in London.

As with many stories about Vidia, at least two versions of their meeting existed. The first described Mrs Alvi as an admirer of his work who approached him at the party and said, ‘Can I kiss you?’‘I think we should sit down,’ Vidia said.

Sir Vidia’s Shadow: A Friendship Across Five Continents – Paul Theroux