Aravind Adiga

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Aravind Adiga
Born (1974-10-23) 23 October 1974 (age 48)
Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India
Alma materColumbia University
Magdalen College, Oxford[1]
GenreNovel and short story
Notable worksThe White Tiger, Last Man in Tower, Selection Day
Notable awards2008 Man Booker Prize
(The White Tiger)[2]

 Literature portal

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


Early life and education[edit]

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras (now Chennai) on 23 October 1974 to Dr. K. Madhava Adiga and Usha Adiga from Mangalore. His paternal grandfather was K. Suryanarayana Adiga, former chairman of Karnataka Bank,[6][7] and maternal great-grandfather, U. Rama Rao, was a popular medical practitioner and Congress politician from Madras.[8]

Adiga grew up in Mangalore and studied at Canara High School and later at St. Aloysius College, Mangaluru, where he completed his SSLC in 1990.[7][9]

After emigrating to Sydney 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 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. As a Times correspondent he interviewed US President Donald Trump.[11] His review of previous Booker Prize winner Peter Carey's 1988 book, Oscar and Lucinda, appeared in The Second Circle, an online literary review.[12]

Adiga was subsequently hired by Time, where he remained a South Asia correspondent for three years before going freelance.[13] He wrote The White Tiger during this period. He now lives in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.[14]

Booker Prize[edit]

Adiga's debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Booker Prize and has been adapted into a Netflix original movie The White Tiger. 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. (More recently, Geetanjali Shree won the prize for her novel Tomb of Sand ). 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] Adiga explained that just as the "criticism by writers like Flaubert, Balzac and Dickens of the 19th century helped England and France become better societies, "his writing aimed at try[ing] to highlight the brutal injustices of society".[16]

Shortly after he won the prize, it was alleged that Adiga had, the previous year, sacked the agent who 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 criticism[edit]

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."[20]

Other works[edit]

Adiga's second book, Between the Assassinations, was released in India in November 2008 and in the US and UK in mid-2009.[21][22] His third book, Last Man in Tower, was published in the UK in 2011. His next novel, Selection Day, was published on 8 September 2016.[23] Amnesty published in 2020 speaks of the pathetic condition of immigrants. It was shortlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Award.[24]



Short stories[edit]


  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 "Mangloreans 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. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012.
  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. ^ "Curious Case of Aravind Adiga". First Post. 16 February 2021.
  12. ^ The Second Circle Archived 25 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Adiga is the first current or former Time staffer to win the Man Booker Prize, or its predecessor, the Booker Prize.
  14. ^ "Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, reviewed by Aravind Adiga", The Second Circle. Archived 6 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  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. ^ "An Insight into 'The White Tiger' by Aravind Adiga". International Policy Digest. 16 September 2017.
  21. ^ "".
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Good Reads".
  24. ^ "Miles Franklin 2021 shortlist announced". Books+Publishing. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2021.

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