Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Indian writers amaze me. Not only are they prolific by way of population, but also are they prolific in writing. And their literature, bless the Indian talent, is in no way below ordinary, gleaning from the ancient epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana to contemporary masterpieces like Midnight’s Children, The God of Small Things and Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. Yet again, another Indian takes the literary universe by storm by winning the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2008. 33-year-old Aravind Adiga’s debut novel The White Tiger, about an impoverished rickshaw puller’s son consumed by his ambition to rise socially, was favored over his compatriot Amitav Ghosh’ Sea of Poppies, Irish Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture, British Linda Grant’s The Clothes on Their Backs and Philip Hensher’s The Northern Clemency, and Australian Steve Toltz’ A Fraction of the Whole. The second younger Booker winner after Nigerian Ben Okri and the third debut novelist to win the prize after fellow Indian Arundhati Roy and Australian(-Mexican) DBC Pierre, Adiga joins the ranks of Rabindranath Tagore, R.K. Narayan, Salman Rushdie, Khuswant Singh, Kamala Markandaya, Anita and Kiran Desai, Bharati Mukherjee and other world-class Indian literary heavyweights. Namaste!