Author of the Week
The winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008 for his debut novel The White Tiger, 33 year old Aravind Adiga is a journalist and author by profession who is an Australian citizen of Indian origin. His debut novel, The White Tiger won the Man Booker Prize of 2008
Born in the year 1974 in Madras, present day Chennai, Adiga grew up in Mangalore and received his basic education at Canara High School and at St. Aloysius High School from where he graduated out with a SSLC degree in 1990.
He studied at James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney, Australia where he and his family emigrated during the 90s.
He further went on to study English Literature at Columbia College, Columbia University in New York in the U.S. from where he graduated in the year 1997.
Adiga’s career in journalism began as a financial journalist as in intern at Financial Times, Money and the Wall Street Journal. His area of coverage was the stock market and investment.
He wrote a review on Peter Carey’s book, the winner of Booker Prize 1998 Oscar and Lucinda, which appeared in an online literary review called The Second Circle. He was eventually appointed by TIME where he worked as a South Asia correspondent for about three years before he started freelancing. This was the time when he wrote The White Tiger. Adiga currently lives in Mumbai, India.
Winning the Man Booker Prize of 2008 for his debut novel, The White Tiger made Adiga the fourth Indian born author to win the prize since Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie and Kiran Desai. Adiga’s novel is about “India of darkness” or the rural India and the “India of the light” or the urban Indian. Its about the protagonist Balram Halwai’s imminent journey from “darkness” into “light”. Keeping Balram’s story in view, the novel studies the antithesis between the rise of India as a modern global economy – where the rich zoom around in their egg-like shelled cars which only crack open to let a bejeweled hand of a lady to throw an empty mineral bottle into the street – and all that Balram represents, – the poorest section of rural India where life itself is smeared with dark and struggle-some reality right from one’s birth to one’s death.
Adiga points out that it becomes significant for writers like him to feature remorseless injustices of Indian society especially during a time when India is undergoing great changes with China presumably inheriting the legacy of the world from the west. He makes it clear that his endeavor in doing so is not an assailment on the country, instead it’s about “the greater process of self-examination.”
He further defends his point by elaborating on the fact that criticisms by writers like Flaubert, Dickens and Balzac during the 19th century helped England and France improve their ways becoming a better place to live in.
Between the Assassinations, Adiga’s second book featuring 12 short stories was released in India on the 1st of November 2008.