The Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, and since its inception in 1969, it has been awarded to a number of authors from India. The
Booker Prize has been recognising the best work of fiction written in English by writers of any nationality every year. It is awarded annually to a single book, and the winner receives £50,000 along with a trophy. The first Booker Prize was awarded to P.H. Newby in 1969 for his novel Something to Answer For.
Indian authors have also made their mark on the Booker Prize. Indian-origin authors like Anita Desai for 'Clear Right Day', Rohinton Mistry for 'Such a Long Journey', Indra Sinha for 'Animal People', Amitav Ghosh for 'River of Smoke' and others have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize longlist earlier. However, five Indian authors have won the prize since it was first awarded in 1969: VS Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai and Aravind Adiga.
|Year||Name of Authors||Name of Books|
|1971||VS Naipaul||In a Free State|
|1981||Salman Rushdie||Midnight's Children|
|1997||Arundhati Roy||The God of Small Things|
|2006||Kiran Desai||The Inheritance of Loss|
|2008||Aravind Adiga||The White Tiger|
VS Naipaul won the Booker Prize for his book In a Free State in 1971. This novel is a collection of three stories. It explores themes of identity, hopes, aspirations and complexes, as well as post-colonial mindset.
Salman Rushdie won the Booker Prize for Midnight's Children in 1981. The novel is a magical realism epic about India's post-colonial history told through the life of one man, Saleem Sinai. It is considered to be one of Rushdie's best works and has won numerous awards.
Arundhati Roy won the Booker Prize for The God of Small Things in 1997. This novel focuses on two siblings growing up in India and explores themes of caste, class, gender, and childhood trauma. It has been widely acclaimed and is considered to be one of the finest works of contemporary fiction.
Kiran Desai won the Booker Prize for The Inheritance of Loss in 2006. This novel focuses on a retired judge living in Darjeeling and Kalimpong amidst political upheaval as tensions between India and Nepal mount with the Gorkhaland movement. It is a story of loss and displacement with themes of identity and belonging.
Aravind Adiga won the Booker Prize for The White Tiger in 2008. This novel tells the story of an ambitious young man from a small village who rises up to become an entrepreneur in a corrupt society. This book captures the daily struggles faced by India's lower classes with wit and humour.
The Booker Prize has helped bring Indian literature to an international audience, giving Indian authors recognition for their work. It has also helped promote Indian literature worldwide, giving readers greater access to works by Indian authors. Celebrating excellence in writing from different parts of the world, helps to bridge cultural gaps between different nations and create a more inclusive literary culture.
The list of past Indian-origin winners of the Booker Prize highlights the talent and creativity within India’s literary scene, and it is hoped that these authors will continue to inspire generations to come with their work.