FACTBOX-Some of India's leading writers

Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:16am EDT
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(Reuters) - First-time Indian novelist Aravind Adiga Tuesday won the Man Booker Prize, one of the world's most prestigious literary awards, with "The White Tiger."

Here is a factbox on some of India's other leading writers:


British Indian author Salman Rushdie shot to fame in 1981 when his second novel, "Midnight's Children," a magical-realist exploration of Indian history, won the Booker Prize for Fiction. It also won the "Best of the Booker" prize in 2008, on the 40th anniversary of the award. Rushdie, 61, is best known for his novel "The Satanic Verses," which outraged many Muslims and prompted death threats that forced him to live in hiding.


Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Writing both in his native Bengali and in English, he achieved global fame as a poet, but was also a novelist, a playwright, a composer and an artist. Tagore campaigned for the Indian nationalist movement, wrote the national anthems for both India and Bangladesh, and was a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi. He was knighted by the British government in 1915, but resigned the honor to protest against British policies in India. He died in 1941.


Vikram Seth is best known for his 1,300-plus page love story "A Suitable Boy," about a young girl's search for a husband in post-independent India. First published in 1993, it is one of the longest English language books ever published. Seth has campaigned for improved gay rights in India, and in 2006 co-wrote an open letter to the Indian government calling for it to overturn a British colonial era law that criminalizes homosexuality.

KIRAN DESAI   Continued...