Man Booker Prize-winning author Aravind Adiga’s new novel, Selection Day, is out soon from Picador.
Adiga won the 2008 Man Booker for his debut novel The White Tiger.
Pan Macmillan has shared an excerpt from the book, which tells the story of fourteen-year-old cricket fan Manjunath Kumar, and his encounter with Manju, the suave, privileged friend of his elder brother.
Three years before Selection Day
‘I’ve got news for you, Tommy Sir.’
‘And I’ve got news for you, Pramod. You see, when I was twenty-one years old, which is to say before you were even born, I began working on a history of the Maratha campaign at the third battle of Panipat. It had a title: “1761: the soul breaks out of its encirclement”. Because I felt that no truthful account of this battle had ever been written. All the histories say we Marathas lost to the Afghans at Panipat on 14 January 1761. Not true. I mean, it may be true, we lost, but it’s not the true story.’
‘Tommy Sir, there is a younger brother, too. He also plays cricket. That’s my news.’
‘Pramod. I am sick of cricket. Talk to me about battles, onions, Narendra Modi, anything else. Don’t you understand?’
‘Tommy Sir. You should have seen the younger brother bat today at the Oval Maidan. You should have. He’s nearly as good as his big brother.’
Darkness, Mumbai. The bargaining goes on and on.