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Naipaul ends 15-year feud with Theroux

One of the most public feuds in the literary world - between Nobel laureate V S Naipaul and writer Paul Theroux - has ended after 15 years at the Hay FestivaL.

books Updated: May 31, 2011 08:15 IST

One of the most public feuds in the literary world - between Nobel laureate V S Naipaul and writer Paul Theroux - has ended after 15 years at the Hay Festival, a major event in Britain's annual cultural calender .

Nestled in the Welsh countryside, the village of Hay-on Wye is the location of the ongoing festival that features prominent figures from the world of politics, literature, journalism, and the arts.

At his sold-out event yesterday, Naipaul charted his development as a writer and his relationship with his family in his Letters Between a Father and a Son.

It was at the Hay Festival that the feud between the two literary giants began in 1996.

And it was here that they finally shook hands, after what is described as a 'gentle intervention' by writer Ina McEwan .

Naipaul's wife, Nadira, told The Independent: "Paul approached him and said he missed him. It was very gracious and wonderful of him. So that is the end to the literary feud."

Will they return to their habit of lunching together? Nadira said: "You never know...It's a strange world."

Theroux spoke at the festival on Saturday, and the organisers, aware of the tensions between the two men, were prepared to keep them at a diplomatic distance from each other on Sunday when Naipaul arrived to speak about his literary career.

The Independent

reported that such precautions were not needed - Theroux, who was sitting in the artists' area, saw Naipaul arrive.