And the Man Booker Prize Goes to....
White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.
The novel that earned him £50,000 (roughly $86,000) is narrated by an Indian chauffer named Balram Halwai who writes "a long series of unanswered letters ... to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao -- who is soon to visit India on a fact-finding junket."
According to Book World's June review, this risky structure allows Adiga to tell the story of India and China, "two enormous countries dealing with massive social change ..... [and] of those few who have money and those great many who do not, of caste and class and stifled desire."
And, most conveniently, it "knock[ed] my socks off," explained the chairman of the prize committee.
This is the first novel by the 33-year-old Adiga. (Pause a moment to swallow your jealousy.) He vanquished such worthies as Amitav Ghosh (see next Sunday's Book World for a review of his Sea of Poppies), Sebastian Barry (The Secret Scripture), Linda Grant (The Clothes on Their Backs), Philip Hensher (The Northern Clemency) and Steven Toltz (A Fraction of the Whole). And he's likely to add insult to injury with a very generous bump in sales.
By Rachel Hartigan Shea |
October 14, 2008; 5:39 PM ET
Rachel Hartigan Shea
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