In a surprise decision, the Man Booker jury chose yesterday to give this year’s £50,000 prize to a relative unknown, 33-year-old debut author Aravind Adiga. His novel, The White Tiger, is published in North America by Free Press/ Simon & Schuster, and it’s about a cocky young Indian man who rises from the slums of Bangalore to become a player in big business.
According to The Guardian:
Adiga … batted aside the claims of veteran writers on the shortlist such as Sebastian Barry and Amitav Ghosh.
He is only the fourth first time novelist to win the prize, after Keri Hulme in 1985, Arundhati Roy in 1997 and DBC Pierre in 2003 “ and he is the second youngest after Ben Okri, who won in 1991 aged 32.
Michael Portillo, the chair of the judges, talked of a final panel meeting characterised by “passionate debate.” Adiga’s book won by a “sufficient,” but by no means unanimous, margin.