The Man Booker Prize

2008 - Aravind Adiga

Born: 23 October 1974, Tamil Nadu, India

Author's quote: "I was looking for the key for years, but the door was always open. "

Field: Journalist

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By Aravind Adiga

About Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga (born 23 October 1974) is an Indian-Australian writer and journalist. His debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Man Booker Prize.

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras (now Chennai) on 23 October 1974 to Dr. K. Madhava Adiga and Usha Adiga, both of whom hailed from Mangalore. His paternal grandfather was the late K. Suryanarayana Adiga, former chairman of Karnataka Bank while his maternal great-grandfather, U. Rama Rao, was a popular medical practitioner and Congress politician from Madras.

Adiga grew up in Mangalore and studied at Canara High School, then at St. Aloysius High School, where he completed his SSLC in 1990. He secured first rank in the state in SSLC. Incidentally his elder brother Anand Adiga secured 2nd rank in SSLC and first rank in PUC in the state.

After emigrating to Sydney, Australia, with his family, he studied at James Ruse Agricultural High School. He studied English literature at Columbia College, Columbia University, in New York, where he studied with Simon Schama and graduated as salutatorian in 1997. He also studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, where one of his tutors was Hermione Lee.

Adiga began his journalistic career as a financial journalist, interning at the Financial Times. With pieces published in the Financial Times and Money, he covered the stock market and investment, interviewing, among others, Donald Trump. His review of previous Booker Prize winner Peter Carey's book, Oscar and Lucinda, appeared in The Second Circle, an online literary review. He was subsequently hired by TIME, where he remained a South Asia correspondent for three years before going freelance. During his freelance period, he wrote The White Tiger. He currently lives in Mumbai, India.

Aravind Adiga's debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Booker Prize. He is the fourth Indian-born author to win the prize, after Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai. (V. S. Naipaul, another winner, is of Indian origin, but was not born in India.) The five other authors on the shortlist included one other Indian writer (Amitav Ghosh) and another first-time writer (Steve Toltz). The novel studies the contrast between India's rise as a modern global economy and the lead character, Balram, who comes from crushing rural poverty.

He explained that "the criticism by writers like Flaubert, Balzac and Dickens of the 19th century helped England and France become better societies".

Shortly after winning the prize it was alleged that Adiga had, the previous year, sacked the agent that had secured his contract with Atlantic Books at the 2007 London Book Fair. In April 2009 it was announced that the novel would be adapted into a feature film. Propelled mainly by the Booker Prize win, The White Tiger's Indian hardcover edition has sold in excess of 200,000 copies.

Adiga's second book, Between the Assassinations, was released in India in November 2008 and in the US and UK in mid-2009. The book features 12 interlinked short stories. His second novel and third published book, Last Man in Tower, was published in the UK in 2011.



The White Tiger: A Novel - Aravind Adiga

By A. Bubrow

Despite a few flaws (like cartoonish secondary characters), I strongly recommend "The White Tiger" for three reasons: (1) Aravind Adiga skillfully constructs an intriguing, humorous narrative that moves like the wind; (2) he brings us into a foreign world to which most Americans are oblivious; (3) it presents a moral ambiguity that you'll want to discuss long after you're through reading the book.

The White Tiger: A Novel - Aravind Adiga

By Lizzy

I love all books written about India. I find it to be a magical, dangerous, romantic, heartbreaking, and exciting place that only exists for me in books (I am dying to go, but who can afford that on a teacher's salary?). Anyways, like my subject states - I absolutely could not put this down. I formed an immediate love-hate relationship with the narrator. He commits despicable acts, but for some reason you find yourself justifying them. Throughout the book I felt such a range of emotions and feelings: disgust, pity, respect, pride, fear, guilt, anticipation, and finally acceptance. I loved this book and would recommend this to anyone interested in an easy read with substance;) I do not share the opinion of the review that stated the novel was too long (and pretty much all other negative comments) - I believe this novel was perfect!