Quick Take

Quick Take

Quick Take

When Aravind Adiga's debut novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize in 2008, the world woke up and took notice of this prolific writer who grew up in Mangaluru, studied in Canara High School and St Aloysius College, before emigrating to Sydney in Australia.

He pursued his higher education in English Literature at Columbia University, New York, as also at Magdalen College, Oxford. He began his career as a financial journalist and worked for TIME before taking up writing full-time. He now lives in Mumbai. His other notable works include Between the Assassinations, Last Man in Tower, and Selection Day, which has been shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017.  

Excerpts from an interview:

Who are your literary icons?

Ramachandra Guha, Shivarama Karanth, William Faulkner, and much more.

Do you have a writing routine?

Yes. I try to write every morning, every afternoon, and every evening.

What's on your writing desk?

A laptop.

What helps you write?

My mother, my icons, and my insecurity.

Your current read?

Accidental Magic, a new novel by a brilliant young writer named Keshava Guha.

What are you scared of?

A book called The White Tiger.

What's on your plate next?

My first novel set outside India.


What would you change about yourself?


I would not have left Mangaluru after my mother's death in 1990.

Your worst habit?

Thinking about the past, and how I would change it.

Your greatest achievement?

Standing first in the SSLC exam in the state of Karnataka in 1990.

Your favourite place in the world?

Landour, Uttarakhand.

Your favourite hero of fiction?

Raju, the hero of RK Narayan's The Guide.

Your heroes in real life?

Ram Guha, for his brilliance, which all of you know, and for his compassion.


What do you most appreciate in people?



Favourite place to holiday?

Garhwal. In particular, the town of Landour.

Your idea of happiness?


An evening with my maternal grandfather, Udupi Mohan Rau, and my mother, Usha, in our ancestral home in Chennai.


Your present state of mind?


Bewilderment, at what is happening to India before my eyes.


Life, according to you...

...is best lived in Mangaluru. Or maybe in Chennai. I can't decide.

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