Nobel laureate says there is no female author whom he considers his equal
He felt that women writers were "quite different". He said: "I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me."
The author, who was born in Trinidad, said this was because of women's "sentimentality, the narrow view of the world". "And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too," he said.
He added: "My publisher, who was so good as a taster and editor, when she became a writer, lo and behold, it was all this feminine tosh. I don't mean this in any unkind way."
The criticism from the author is unsurprising. Naipaul is no stranger to criticism. In the past Naipaul has criticised India's top female authors for their "banality" on the topic he is best known for writing about, the legacy of British colonialism.
He also had a long-running feud with US travel writer and author Paul Theroux.
Their 30-year friendship came to a sudden end, after Theroux discovered that a book he gave Naipaul had been put on sale for £916. The comments were dismissed by the Writers Guild of Great Britain, which said it would not "waste its breath on them".
Literary journalist Alex Clark said: "Is he really saying that writers such as Hilary Mantel, AS Byatt, Iris Murdoch are sentimental or write feminine tosh?"
Literary critic Helen Brown described them as "arrogant, attention-seeking".He should heed the words of George Eliot – a female writer – whose works have had a far more profound impact on world culture than his."