Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga (born 23 October 1974)[3][4] is an Indo-Australian writer and journalist. His debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Man Booker Prize.[5]

Aravind Adiga
Born (1974-10-23) 23 October 1974 (age 45)
Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India
Alma materColumbia University
Magdalen College, Oxford[1]
Notable worksThe White Tiger
Notable awards2008 Man Booker Prize
(The White Tiger)[2]

Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg Literature portal


Early life and educationEdit

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,[6][7] and a maternal great-grandfather, U. Rama Rao, a popular medical practitioner and Congress politician from Madras.[8]

Adiga grew up in Mangalore and studied at Canara High School, then at St. Aloysius College, where he completed his SSLC in 1990 and secured the first place in his state in SSLC (his elder brother, Anand, had placed second in SSLC and first in PUC in the state).[7][9]

After emigrating to Sydney, Australia, with his family, Aravind studied at James Ruse Agricultural High School. He later studied English literature at Columbia College of Columbia University, in New York city, under Simon Schama, and graduated as salutatorian in 1997.[10] He also studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, where one of his tutors was Hermione Lee.


Aravind 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. Adiga's review of previous Booker Prize winner Peter Carey's 1988 book, Oscar and Lucinda, appeared in The Second Circle, an online literary review.[11]

Adiga was subsequently hired by TIME, where he remained a South Asia correspondent for three years before going freelance.[12] During this freelance period, he wrote The White Tiger. He now lives in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.[13]

Booker PrizeEdit

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 ethnically Indian but was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad.) The five other authors on the shortlist included one other Indian writer (Amitav Ghosh) and another first-time writer (Steve Toltz).[14] 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.[15]

At a time when India is going through great changes and, with China, is likely to inherit the world from the West, it is important that writers like me try to highlight the brutal injustices of [Indian] society. That's what I'm trying to do – it is not an attack on the country, it's about the greater process of self-examination.

Adiga explained that "criticism by writers like Flaubert, Balzac and Dickens of the 19th century helped England and France become better societies".[16]

Shortly after he won the prize, it was alleged that Adiga had, the previous year, sacked the agent who had secured his contract with Atlantic Books at the 2007 London Book Fair.[17] In April 2009, it was announced that the novel would be adapted into a feature film.[18] Propelled mainly by the Booker Prize win, The White Tiger's Indian hardcover edition sold more than 200,000 copies.[19]

Academic criticismEdit

According to Ana Cristina Mendes (2010), The White Tiger falls prey to "inauthenticity": Adiga a well-read Indian author who writes in English, having been educated at Oxford and Columbia – errs on the side of an unconvincing colloquialism by making his characters speak a language of the Indian underground, which he himself masters only to a certain extent.[20] The novel is described as a first-person bildungsroman and placed within the wider context of contemporary Indian writing in English, as a novel about "the Darkness" (which reminds us of Dickens's London) and a fascinating success story about the overnight rise of one character from rags to riches, but also about India’s development as a global market economy. Mendes (2010) notices in this a certain artificiality, cleverly masked by irony, and remarks the “'cardboard cut-out' title character equipped with an inauthentic voice that ultimately undermines issues of class politics" (p. 277). Pakistani blogger Sarmad Iqbal reviewed Adiga's The White Tiger for International Policy Digest, saying: "This novel in multiple ways was an eye opener for me about the rising India as being a Pakistani I grew up listening to and learning nothing good about India. As I got acquainted with all the dark secrets of a rising India divulged by Adiga in this novel, I came across several astonishing similarities between what goes in the 'enemy state' I knew from my childhood and my own country Pakistan."[21]

Other academics find the book to be a fascinating assessment of the ongoing development of India as a nation, written with a manner of direct honesty, humour and frankness few authors can harness when attempting to evaluate their own nations. Adiga provides readers with a broad perspective on the ancient ideas of historic India as they contrast with the last 120 years of rapid societal change and advancement. Readers who have spent significant periods of time in India can glean essential insights from the book while appreciating the author's firsthand knowledge of the subtleties of the diverse and intoxicating cast of people that make India such an interesting place, be it tragic or breathtaking.

Other worksEdit

Adiga's second book, Between the Assassinations, was released in India in November 2008 and in the US and UK in mid-2009;[22] twelve interlinked short stories comprise this book.[23] His second novel and third published book, Last Man in Tower, was published in the UK in 2011. His third novel, Selection Day, was published on 8 September 2016.[24]



Short storiesEdit


  1. ^ "Aravind Adiga author biography". Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  2. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (14 October 2008). "Aravind Adiga wins Booker prize with The White Tiger". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  3. ^ Adiga, Aravind (18 October 2008). "Provocation is one of the legitimate goals of literature". The Indian Express (Interview). Interviewed by Vijay Rana. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  4. ^ Indian Australian novelist Aravind Adiga wins Booker prize - Express India Archived 5 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Indian novelist Aravind Adiga wins Booker prize". Agencies. Expressindia. 15 October 2008. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
  6. ^ "Booker for KannAdiga". Deccan Herald. 16 October 2008. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Karnataka/Mangalore News:Mangaloreans rejoice over aravind adiga's win". The Hindu. 16 October 2008. Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  8. ^ Muthiah, S. (3 November 2008). "A lineage of success". The Hindu.
  9. ^ "Almamater celebrates Adiga's win". Bangalore Mirror. 16 October 2008. Archived from the original on 18 October 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  10. ^ At Last! Commencement For More than 8,900 Today. Columbia University Record. MAY 21, 1997 Archived 27 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ The Second Circle Archived 25 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Adiga is the first current or former TIME staffer to win the Man Booker Prize, or its predecessor, the Booker Prize.
  13. ^ "OSCAR AND LUCINDA by Peter Carey, reviewed by Aravind Adiga", The Second Circle. Archived 6 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "First-timers seeking Booker glory". BBC. 9 September 2008. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  15. ^ Robins, Peter (9 August 2008). "Review: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  16. ^ "I highlighted India's brutal injustices: Adiga". Rediff. 16 October 2008. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  17. ^ "Booker in pocket, Aravind Adiga sacks agent". CNN-IBN. 26 October 2008. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  18. ^ Kay, Jeremy (15 April 2009), "Smuggler, Ascension acquire 2008 Mann Booker winner White Tiger", Screen Daily.
  19. ^ "Boom time for English-language books in India", The Hindu, 4 March 2010.
  20. ^ Cristina Mendes, Ana (June 2010). "Exciting Tales of Exotic Dark India: Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger". The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. 45 (2): 275–293. doi:10.1177/0021989410366896. ISSN 0021-9894.
  21. ^ "An Insight into 'The White Tiger' by Aravind Adiga". International Policy Digest. 16 September 2017.
  22. ^ "".
  23. ^ Donthi, Praveen (23 October 2008). "Adigas second book to hit shelves". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  24. ^ "Good Reads".

External linksEdit