Booker in pocket, Aravind Adiga sacks agent

Booker in pocket, Aravind Adiga sacks agent

William Morris Agency helped him win the 50,000-pound award.


London: India's Booker prize winning novelist Aravind Adiga has "sacked" his agent who is widely credited with helping him win the prestigious 50,000-pound award.

34-year-old Adiga, whose debut book The White Tiger, won the Booker this year, has suddenly parted company with the William Morris Agency, the world's biggest literary talent firm, according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph.

"I guess you can call it being 'sacked'. No reason was given why," said Cathryn Summerhayes of the Agency who has been credited with helping Adiga win the prize.

"He just sent a letter to the US office to say that we would no longer be representing him, but that we would still look after the book rights. I don't think you will find, however, any publisher who said we didn't do a great job on the book and no one had a bad word to say about us," she was

quoted as saying.

Summerhayes whipped up competition among eight rival publishers before she brokered the deal with Atlantic Books at the 2007 London Book Fair. Atlantic paid the Indian author one of its biggest ever advances for fiction.

In order to win the rights, Ravi Mirchandani of Atlantic, took a letter written in the style of the book and some rupees, addressed to "President Summerhayes", to William Morris's offices to win over the agent.

According to the report, it is unclear why Adiga has dropped William Morris.

Jay Mandel, Adiga's American agent, who received the letter from him, declined to comment, the report said.

The White Tiger tells the story of Balram, the son of a rickshaw puller, who is one of the "faceless" poor left behind by the country's recent economic boom. It charts his journey from working in a teashop to entrepreneurial success.

The author was unavailable for comment.

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