Booker winner Aravind Adiga credits Australian upbringing for shaping his perspective

October 15th, 2008 - 12:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Oct 15 (ANI): Indian author Aravind Adiga, who has won the Booker Prize for his acclaimed novel ”The White Tiger”, credits his Australian upbringing for giving him a more egalitarian world view that worked as the foundation of his literary work.
The 33-year-old Australian-Indian dual citizen won the prestigious Man Booker prize on Tuesday for his debut novel, which provides an insight into India’’s class system.
The book deals with the struggles of an Indian rickshaw puller in New Delhi.
The judges in London described the novel that “shocked and entertained in equal measure.”
Adiga, who was born in Madras, said the “four or five years” he spent growing up in Sydney, where he attended James Ruse Agricultural High School, had an important impact on his work.
He said that he has been partly shaped by “the places I lived in before I came back to India.”
“I was in Australia and New York and here in England, I was at Oxford for a few years. At least two of those places were very egalitarian, and this was Sydney and New York and when I came back I had to a large extent forgotten what it had been to be well off in India,” The Australian quoted him, as saying.
“I had no embarrassment about doing many things for myself that would (normally) be done by servants.
“I think I looked at people in a different way and I am not claiming to be non-middle class back in India but I am conscious of the fact that there are people around me who are servants and I am curious of what they are like.
“So I have been in places that are relatively class-less. When I was here (in Britain) I was in a university that in that context was quite classless and this I took back to India.
“These are important topics to write about but class and the big divides we have in the world today between the better-off and the worse-off, it doesn”t get written about much.
“It doesn”t seem to be what a lot of people think literature is about but to me it is the most pressing concern around today. Because I think a lot of other things stem from it, like terrorism and instability.
“So class is something that is on my mind and I am going to write about and this may be where my experience of having lived in other places has changed the way I perceive things.”
Adiga, who lives in Mumbai said that he would like to dedicate his award to people in New Delhi.
“I would like to dedicate this award to the people of New Delhi,” he said on accepting the prize, adding that 300 years ago it was the most important city on Earth and could become so again. (ANI)

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