Aravind Adiga, whose merciless spotlight on India’s underbelly in The White Tiger won him a deserved Man Booker Prize in 2008, is back with a new novel. Last Man In Tower, examining the strangeness that is the real estate enterprise in Mumbai through the lens of fiction, came all of five years ago.
As the publisher’s description says of the new novel, Selection Day:
Manju is fourteen. He knows he is good at cricket – if not as good as his elder brother Radha. He knows that he hates his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented brother and is fascinated by CSI and curious and interesting scientific facts. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn’t know… Everyone around him, it seems, has a clear idea of who Manju should be, except Manju himself.
But when Manju begins to get to know Radha’s great rival, a boy as privileged and confident as Manju is not, everything in Manju’a world begins to change and he is faced by decisions that will challenge both his sense of self and of the world around him.
Until it’s out, here’s what The White Tiger reminded us:
“Go to Old Delhi,and look at the way they keep chickens there in the market. Hundred of pale hens and brightly coloured roosters, stuffed tightly into wire-mesh cages. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them.They know they are next, yet they cannot rebel. They do not try to get out of the coop. The very same thing is done with humans in this country.”