White Tiger novelist roars to victory in Man Booker
FIRST-TIME novelist Aravind Adiga last night won the £50,000 Man Booker prize for his book The White Tiger, which scathingly attacks the inequalities of life in his native India.
At the age of 34, Adiga is the youngest of the six writers shortlisted for Britain's most prestigious literary award.
The white tiger of the title is novel's narrator, Balram Halwai, the son of a rickshaw-puller who is determined to break out of poverty by ruthless – indeed, murderous – entrepreneurial nous.
In a series of letters to the Chinese premier on the eve of his state visit to India, Halwai warns that what he is going to be shown isn't remotely true to the realities of life there.
The White Tiger was a 5/1 outsider to win the prize, for which his fellow-Indian Amitav's Ghosh's novel Sea of Poppies and Irish writer Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture were joint favourites.
The shortlist also included The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher, Linda Grant's The Clothes On Their Backs, and Australian novelist Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole, the only other debut novel on the shortlist.
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