Aravind Adiga has won the 2008 Man Booker Prize for his first novel, The White Tiger. Adiga was born in 1974 in Chennai (formerly Madras), although his family later emigrated to Australia. He studied in both the United States and at Oxford and he now lives back in India in Mumbai. Adiga was a business journalist and wrote his novel during his time as a freelancer.
The White Tiger is set in India and was not actually initially that popular in the country as it portrays “a completely bald, angry, unadorned portrait of the county as seen from the bottom of the heap”, according to Andrew Holgate of The Sunday Times. However, it is also a “page-turner”.
The jacket describes the book as:
“Balram Halwai is the White Tiger – the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi. The city is a revelation. As he drives his master to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he will never be able to gain access to that world. As Balram broods over his situation, he realizes that there is only one way he can become part of this glamorous new India – by murdering his master.”The White Tiger” presents a raw and unromanticised India, both thrilling and shocking – from the desperate, almost lawless villages along the Ganges, to the booming Wild South of Bangalore and its technology and outsourcing centres. The first-person confession of a murderer, “The White Tiger” is as compelling for its subject matter as for the voice of its narrator – amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.”
You can read an interview with the author on the BookBrowse website. In it he describes the influences on the book and plans for his next novel, which is underway.
If you want to find out more, then you will soon be able to borrow it from the Library, as it is currently on order. To be the first to read it, why don’t you ‘request’ it, via the Library Catalogue?