Aravind Adiga was born in India and raised partly in Australia. He attended Columbia and Oxford universities. A former correspondent for Time magazine, he has also been published in the Financial Times. The White Tiger is his recently-released debut novel.
A couple of questions from a Q & A at the publisher's website:
Who are some of your literary influences? Do you identify yourself particularly as an Indian writer?Read the full Q & A.
It might make more sense to speak of influences on this book, rather than on me. The influences on The White Tiger are three black American writers of the post-World War II era (in order), Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Richard Wright. The odd thing is that I haven't read any of them for years and years -- I read Ellison's Invisible Man in 1995 or 1996, and have never returned to it -- but now that the book is done, I can see how deeply it's indebted to them. As a writer, I don't feel tied to any one identity; I'm happy to draw influences from wherever they come.
Could you describe your process as a writer? Was the transition from journalism to fiction difficult?
A first draft of The White Tiger was written in 2005, and then put aside. I had given up on the book. Then, for reasons I don't fully understand myself, in December 2006, when I'd just returned to India after a long time abroad, I opened the draft and began rewriting it entirely. I wrote all day long for the next month, and by early January 2007, I could see that I had a novel on my hands.
The Page 69 Test: The White Tiger.