Tiger Burns So Bright for Booker Winner Adiga; Moment of Glory: Aravind Adiga with His Winning Novel, the White Tiger, and His Reaction as His Name Is Announced at the Guildhall Ceremony, Left

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 15, 2008 | Go to article overview

Tiger Burns So Bright for Booker Winner Adiga; Moment of Glory: Aravind Adiga with His Winning Novel, the White Tiger, and His Reaction as His Name Is Announced at the Guildhall Ceremony, Left


Byline: LOUISE JURY

THE experience of being an immigrant fuelled the writing of The White Tiger, the debut novel by Indian writer Aravind Adiga which has won the ?50,000 Man Booker Prize.

Adiga, at 33 the second youngest victor in Booker history, said living in Britain, America and Australia had helped him understand the Indian underclass whose lives he chronicles.

"I remember what it was like to be completely cut off," he said.

The White Tiger is the story of Balram Halwai, the son of a tubercular rickshaw driver who escapes grinding poverty in the countryside by moving to the city and becoming a chauffeur.

Balram goes on to entrepreneurial success on the back of a murder.

Speaking after his victory at the Guildhall last night, Adiga said India's urban immigrants reminded him of his own experience overseas.

"These people getting off the train in New Delhi and seeing these giant flyovers and cars are as lost as I as when I arrived in New York," he said.

People he had met as a journalist for Time magazine and British papers had strongly influenced the book.

Most significantly, an angry rickshaw driver once told Adiga that the journalist might well listen to his story but would go away and immediately forget him. …

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