October 19, 2008 in Features

Aravind Adiga wins Man Booker prize

By Jill Lawless Associated Press

LONDON – Aravind Adiga won the prestigious Man Booker award Tuesday for his first novel “The White Tiger.”

Adiga won the $87,000 prize for his book about a protagonist who will use any means necessary to fulfill his dream of escaping impoverished village life for success in the big city.

At 34, Adiga was the youngest of the finalists for the literary prize.

The chairman of the judges, Michael Portillo, said the book was an impressive work.

“The novel is in many ways perfect. It is quite difficult to find any structural flaws with it,” he said.

Some have accused Adiga, who lives in Mumbai, of painting a negative picture of modern India and its huge underclass. But Adiga said he wanted to write about all aspects of Indian society.

“In India if you really want to get out and do a book you have to make a conscious effort to connect to people in every conceivable way,” he told the British Broadcasting Corp. after winning the prize.

Adiga is the fourth Indian-born author to win the prize, and joins compatriots Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai. A fifth winner, V.S. Naipaul is of Indian ancestry.

The other authors short-listed for the prize were Steve Toltz, Sebastian Barry, Amitav Ghosh, Linda Grant and Philip Hensher.

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