Open Minds 2017: Soft Power

Aravind Adiga, Novelist

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Bright Tiger

The Man Booker Prize-winning The White Tiger (2008) is one of those uncommon books that readers either hated or loved. Some found it too pretentious, others found it effective. Selection Day, Aravind Adiga’s fourth novel, does not elicit similar divisive responses. But it is likely to be enjoyed by most, even if it does not go down as a must-read for posterity. In Last Man in Tower (2011), he immersed the reader in the merciless world of real estate, and in Selection Day, he plots the power and pelf of the cricket maidans of the country.

How can you not write about cricket if you live in India? Cricket’s financial, cultural, and social importance here are unmatched by that of any other sport in any other country. Even football isn’t this big in Brazil

With his latest, Adiga has cemented a place as an influential Indian author writing in English because he chronicles the changing face of the country, critiques our many inequalities, and maps the gap between aspiration and reality, dreams and dreads.

(For the complete list of power of argument in 50 portraits click here)