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Indian Author, Aravind Adiga Wins 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for His Novel, The White Tiger

Aravind Adiga holding his Booker-prize-winner novel The White TigerToday brings a great news to us, Indians. Mr Aravind Adiga, 33-year-old, former Wall Street Journal and Time writer hailing from Chennai, bagged this year’s Man Booker Prize for his debut novel The White Tiger. The author was awarded the prize money of 50,000 pound sterling at the award ceremony held in London’s Guildhall.

Mr Adiga, who currently stays in Mumbai, is the third debut novelist to win the most prestigious Booker Prize, which is awarded yearly to the best of fiction works from Commonwealth countries. Other debutantes to win the award include Arundhati Roy in 1997 for God of Small Things and DBC Pierre in 2003 for Vernon God Little.

Mr Adiga is in line with other Indo-Anglican writers adorned by the Booker, such as Sir Salman Rushdie, Sir V S Naipaul (who has Indian roots), Ms Arundhati Roy (who happens to hail from my very own state, Kerala), and Ms Kiran Desai.

Mr Adiga was born and brought up in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He emigrated to Sydney, Australia and later studied English literature from Columbia University, New York, and later at Oxford. He started his career as a writer with the Financial Times, Money, and later the Wall Street Journal. When his review of a Booker-prize-winning novel, Oscar and Lucinda became popular, Time magazine hired him, and he worked there for 3 years.

The White Tiger, Booker-prize-winnerThe White Tiger, Booker-prize-winnerThe White Tiger deals with the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram Halwai, who rises to the fame and money of entrepreneurship in the heart of India. The Man Booker Prize website gives this review:
The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias. Balram’s journey from darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral, brilliantly irreverent, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable.
Other titles short listed for the Booker Prize include The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry, Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (another Indian writer), The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant, The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher, and A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Tolz (another debutante). Each of these short-listed writers, including Aravind Adiga, win a sum of 2500 pounds and a designer-bound volume of their books.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

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