Adiga began his career as a financial journalist, interning at the Financial Tiimes
He was hired by TIME, where he remained a correspondent for three years
During his freelance period, he wrote The White Tiger. He currently lives in Mumbai, India</li></li></ul><li>Cont…<br /><ul><li>Aravind Adiga's debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Booker Prize.
He is the fourth Indian-born author to win the Booker Prize, after Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai.</li></li></ul><li>The Book<br /><br /><ul><li>The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias
It studies the contrast between India's rise as a modern global economy and the lead character, Balram, who comes from crushing rural poverty.
Born in a village in heartland India, Balram the son of a rickshaw puller, is taken out of school by his family and put to work in a teashop
As he crushes coals and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape – of breaking away from the banks of Mother Ganga, into whose depths have seeped the remains of a hundred generations.
Balram’s journey from darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral and altogether unforgettable </li></li></ul><li>The storyline<br />The novel takes the form of a series of letters written late at night by Balram Halwai to Wen Jiabao, the Premier of the State Council of the people’s republic of China, on the eve of his visit to India.<br />In the letters, Balram describes his rise from lowly origins to his current position as an entrepreneur in Bangalore, as well as his views on India’s caste system and its political corruption.<br />Balram is the White Tiger of the book's title - a title he earns by virtue of being deemed the smartest boy in his village, Laxmangarh (a fictional village in Bihar), a community deep in the "Darkness" of rural India.<br />The son of a rickshaw-puller; his family is too poor for him to be able to finish school, and instead he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables.<br />
Through these experiences, Balram learns much about the world and later states that the streets of India provided him with all the education he needed.<br />After learning how to drive, Balram gets his break when a rich man from his village, "The Stork," hires him as a chauffeur, allowing him to live in Delhi, the "Light".<br />As he drives his master and his family to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he will never be able to gain access to that world.<br />As he drives his master and his family to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he will never be able to gain access to that world.<br />
As Balram broods over his situation, he realizes that there is only one way he can become part of this glamorous new India - to murder his employer's son, Ashok.<br />Recently returned from a stint in America, Ashok is conflicted by the corruption and harshness of life in India.<br />However, his complicity in corruption leads to his demise and Balram's chance to become an entrepreneur, and thus a cog in India's new technological society.<br />
Personal view<br />There is much to commend in this novel, a witty parable of India's changing society, yet there is much to ponder.<br />The scales have fallen from the eyes of some Indian writers, many either living abroad, or educated there like Adiga.<br />India is invariably presented as a place of brutal injustice and sordid corruption, one in which the poor are always dispossessed and victimised by their age-old enemies, the rich.<br />My hunch is this is fundamentally an outsider's view and a superficial one. There are so many alternative Indias, uncontacted and unheard.<br />
The White Tiger 'says a lot' about contemporary India, but it tries to do so far too hard.<br />What suspense he builds up early on surrounding Balram's crime dissipates far too fast, while he tries too hard with his Indian panorama.<br />And Balram isn't a fully realised or convincing character, either, even though he's talking (or telling his story) all the time, as Adiga's attempt to make him both a peasant-everyman (representative of so many Indians) and a white tiger confuses things. <br />