White Tiger (Adiga) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—October 23, 1974
Where—Madras (now Chennai), India
Education—B.A., Columbia University (US); Oxford
   University (UK)
Awards—Man Booker Prize, 2008
Currently—lives in Mumbai, India


Aravind Adiga is a journalist and author, who holds dual Indian and Australian citizenship. His debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Man Booker Prize.

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras (now Chennaii) in 1974 to K. Madhava and Usha Adiga, Kannadiga parents hailing from Mangalore, Karnataka. He grew up in Mangalore and studied at Canara High School, then at St. Aloysius High School, where he completed his Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) in 1990. He secured first rank in the state in SSLC. 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, Money and the Wall Street Journal, 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 is of Indian ancestry, but is not India-born). 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.

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 society (Indian). That's what I'm trying to do—it's not an attack on the country, it's about the greater process of self-examination.

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 claimed that Adiga had sacked the agent who helped him to victory—and to reach a deal with Atlantic Books at the 2007 London Book Fair. However, it later emerged that these stories were factually incorrect: Adiga had fired his agent almost a year before, in November 2007. (From Wikipedia.)

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