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First-Time Indian Novelist Wins Top Literary Prize

Indian writer Aravind Adiga has won one of literature's most prestigious awards - the 2008 Man Booker fiction prize - for his first novel, The White Tiger.

The head of the judging panel, Michael Portillo said Adiga's novel about a man's journey from Indian village life to big city success "shocked and entertained in equal measure." He said the book won for its originality in presenting "the dark side of India."

Adiga was presented a check for more than $87,000 Tuesday at an awards ceremony in London. He is the third debut novelist and the second Indian debut novelist to win the Man Booker prize in its 40-year history. At 33-years-old, he also is one of the youngest recipients.

The now award-winning author studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities and is a former correspondent for Time Magazine in India.

The Man Booker prize is open to novels in English by writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.