Aravind Adiga was born in Madras (now Chennai) on 23 October 1974 to Dr. K. Madhava Adiga and Usha Adiga, both of whom hailed from Mangalore. His paternal grandfather was the late K. Suryanarayana Adiga, former chairman of Karnataka Bank, while his maternal great-grandfather, U. Rama Rao, was a popular medical practitioner and Congress politician from Madras.
Adiga grew up in Mangalore and studied at Canara High School, then at St. Aloysius High School, where he completed his SSLC in 1990. He secured first rank in the state in SSLC. Incidentally his elder brother, Anand Adiga, secured 2nd rank in SSLC and first rank in PUC in the state.
After emigrating to Sydney, Australia, with his family, he studied at James Ruse Agricultural High School. He studied English literature at Columbia College, Columbia University, in New York, where he studied withSimon Schama and graduated as salutatorian in 1997. He also studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, where one of his tutors was Hermione Lee.
Adiga began his journalistic career as a financial journalist, interning at the Financial Times. With pieces published in the Financial Times and Money, he covered the stock market and investment, interviewing, among others, Donald Trump. His review of previous Booker Prize winner Peter Carey‘s book, Oscar and Lucinda, appeared in The Second Circle, an online literary review. He was subsequently hired by TIME, where he remained a South Asia correspondent for three years before going freelance. During his freelance period, he wrote The White Tiger. He currently lives in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Booker PrizeAravind Adiga’s debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Booker Prize . He is the fourth Indian-born author to win the prize, after Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai. (V. S. Naipaul, another winner, is of Indian origin, but was not born in India.) The five other authors on the shortlist included one other Indian writer (Amitav Ghosh) and another first-time writer (Steve Toltz). The novel studies the contrast between India’s rise as a modern global economy and the lead character, Balram, who comes from crushing rural poverty.
Shortly after winning the prize it was alleged that Adiga had, the previous year, sacked the agent that had secured his contract with Atlantic Books at the 2007 London Book Fair. In April 2009 it was announced that the novel would be adapted into a feature film. Propelled mainly by the Booker Prize win, The White Tiger‘s Indian hardcover edition has sold in excess of 200,000 copies.