Saturday, August 16, 2008

White Album / Wash / Lie / House


Aravind Adiga is a graduate of Oxford and Columbia universities and writes business journalism for Time magazine. In this Man Booker long list 2008 finalist novel the notion of The White Tiger - a rare and beautiful event - is used to characterise the transition of a young man in India from 'the Darkness' to the light - from empty belly to full belly. The metaphor is flawed - the white tiger is not a rare endangered species, but a genetic misfit bred for profit. According to Adiga the transition to wealth is best accomplished by sacrificing family (quite literally) loyalty and morality. Many Indians of my acquaintance would take a different view. But for those of us who travel to India, and are assigned a driver who sits in the car and waits, this novel certainly provides a sobering pause for thought.

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