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Aravind Adiga
Born 23 October 1974 (1974-10-23) (age 35)
Madras, India
Occupation Writer
Ethnicity Indian
Citizenship Indian/Australian
Alma mater Columbia University
Notable work(s) The White Tiger
Notable award(s) 2008 Man Booker Prize
(The White Tiger)
Official website
Literature portal

Aravind Adiga (Kannada: ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗ, born 23 October 1974[1]) is an Indian-Australian journalist and author. His debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Man Booker Prize.[2]




Early life and education

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras (now Chennai) on the 23rd of October, 1974 to Dr. K. Madhava Adiga and Usha Adiga, Kannadigas both of whom hailed from Mangalore. His paternal grandfather was Late K. Suryanarayana Adiga, former chairman of Karnataka bank.[3][4] He grew up in Mangalore and studied at Canara High School, then at St. Aloysius High School, where he completed his SSLC in 1990. He secured first rank in the state in SSLC[4][5]. 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.[6] 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 and Money, 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.[7] He was subsequently hired by TIME, where he remained a South Asia correspondent for three years before going freelance.[8] During his freelance period, he wrote The White Tiger. He currently lives in Mumbai, India.[9]

Booker Prize

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, another winner, is of Indian origin, but is not an India citizen). The five other authors on the shortlist included one other Indian writer (Amitav Ghosh) and another first-time writer (Steve Toltz).[10] 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.[11]

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 is 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".[12]

Shortly after winning the prize it was alleged that Adiga had, the previous year, sacked the agent that had secured his contract with Atlantic Books at the 2007 London Book Fair.[13] In April 2009 it was announced that the novel would be adapted into a feature film.[1]

Between the Assassinations

Adiga's second book, Between the Assassinations, was released in India in November 2008 and in the US and UK in mid-2009[14]. The book features 12 interlinked short stories.[15]



Short stories


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Indian novelist Aravind Adiga wins Booker prize". Agencies (Expressindia). October 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  3. ^ "Booker for KannAdiga". Deccan Herald. October 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  4. ^ a b "Karnataka/Mangalore News:Mangaloreans rejoice over aravind adiga's win". The Hindu. October 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  5. ^ "Almamater celebrates Adiga's win". Bangalore Mirror. October 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Adiga is the first current or former TIME staffer to win the Man Booker Prize, or its predecessor, the Booker Prize.
  9. ^ The second circle
  10. ^ "First-timers seeking Booker glory". BBC. 9 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  11. ^ "Review: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga". The Telegraph. 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  12. ^ "I highlighted India's brutal injustices: Adiga". Rediff. 16 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  13. ^ "Booker in pocket, Aravind Adiga sacks agent". CNN-IBN. October 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  14. ^ "". 
  15. ^ Donthi, Praveen (2008-10-23). "Adigas second book to hit shelves". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Aravind Adiga (Kannada: ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗ, born 23 October 1974) is a journalist and author, who holds dual Indian and Australian citizenship. His debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Man Booker Prize.


The White Tiger (2008)

  • Mr Premier, Sir. Neither you nor I speak English, but there are some things that can be said only in English.
    • The First Night
  • Apparently, sir you Chinese are far ahead of us in every respect, except that you don’t have entrepreneurs. And our nation, though it has no drinking water, electricity, sewage system, public transportation, sense of hygiene, discipline, courtesy, or punctuality, ‘’does’’ have entrepreneurs. Thousands and thousands of them. Especially in the field of technology. And these entrepreneurs—’’we’’ entrepreneurs—have set up all these outsourcing companies that virtually run America now.
    • The First Night
  • Now, there are some, and I don’t just mean Communists like you, but thinking men of all political parties, who think that not many of these gods actually exist. Some believe that ‘’none’’ of them exist. There’s just us and an ocean of darkness around us. I’m no philosopher or poet, how would I know the truth? It’s true that all these gods seem to do awfully little work—much like our politicians—and yet keep winning reelection to their golden thrones in heaven, year after year. That’s not to say that I don’t respect them, Mr. Premier! Don’t you ever let that blasphemous idea into your yellow skull. My country is the kind where it pays to play it both ways: the Indian entrepreneur has to be straight and crooked, mocking and believing, sly and sincere, at the same time.
    • The First Night
  • A rich man’s body is like a premium cotton pillow, white and soft and blank. ‘’Ours’’ is different. My father’s spine was a knotted rope, the kind that women use in villages to pull water from wells; the clavicle curved around his neck in high relief, like a dog’s collar; cuts and nicks and scars, like little whip marks in his flesh, ran down his chest and waist, reaching down below his hip bones into his buttocks. The story of a poor man’s life is written on his body, in a sharp pen.
    • The First Night
  • By the way, Mr. Premier: Have you ever noticed that all four of the greatest poets in the world are Muslim? And yet all the Muslims you meet are illiterate or covered head to toe in black burkas or looking for buildings to blow up? It’s a puzzle, isn’t it? If you ever figure these people out, send me an e-mail.
    • The First Night
  • Here’s a strange fact: murder a man, and you feel responsible for his life—’’possessive’’, even. You know more about him than his father and mother; they knew his fetus, but you know his corpse. Only you can complete the story of his life, only you know why his body has to be pushed into the fire before its time, and why his toes curl up and fight for another hour on earth.
    • The Second Night
  • The great man folded his palms and bowed all around him. He had one of those either/or faces that all great Indian politicians have. This face says that it is now at peace—and you can be at peace too if you follow the owner of that face. But the same face can also say, with a little twitch of its features, that it has known the opposite of peace and it can make this other face yours too, if it wishes.
    • The Third Night
  • With their tinted windows up, the cars of the rich go like dark eggs down the roads of Delhi. Every now and then an egg will crack open—a woman’s hand, dazzling with gold bangles, stretches out an open window, flings an empty mineral water bottle onto the road—and then the window goes up, and the egg is resealed.
    • The Fourth Night
  • Go to Old Delhi, behind the Jama Masjid, and look at the way they keep chickens there in the market. Hundreds of pale hens and brightly colored roosters, stuffed tightly into wire mesh cages, packed as tightly as worms in a belly, pecking each other and shitting on each other, jostling just for breathing space; the whole cage giving off a horrible stench—the stench of terrified, feathered flesh. On the wooden desk above this coop sits a grinning young butcher, showing off the flesh and organs of recently chopped-up chicken, still oleaginous with a coating of dark blood. The roosters in the coop smell the blood from above. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them. They know they’re next. Yet they do not rebel. They do not try to get out of the coop.

    The very same thing is done with human beings in this country.

    • The Fifth Night
  • The dreams of the rich, and the dreams of the poor—they never overlap, do they?

    See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of?

    Losing weight and looking like the poor.

    • The Sixth Night
  • The moment you recognize what is beautiful in this world, you stop being a slave.
    • The Sixth Night
  • The book of your revolution sits in the pit of your belly, young Indian. Crap it out, and read.

    Instead of which, they’re all sitting in front of color TVs and watching cricket and shampoo advertisements.

    • The Seventh Night

External links

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