On a hot Sunday afternoon years ago, two sisters walk in on their father’s sexual liaison with the family’s hired help which leaves them both scarred in different ways. Years later, unable to bear the thought of marriage to a man she barely knows, the younger and more adventurous one, Munachi runs away from home on the eve of her traditional marriage, unwittingly resurrecting a long buried feud between her religious mother and eccentric aunty. This conflict leaves the door open for the family’s destruction.
The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.
Recalling The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, The White Tiger is narrative genius with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation—and a startling, provocative debut.
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