Earlier this week we carried a report from the U.K. press that said Aravind Adiga, author of White Tiger and recent winner of the Man Booker Prize, had abruptly abandoned his relationship with the William Morris Agency. The implication was that the boy had gotten too big for his britches, what with his fancy award, and had decided unceremoniously to trade up for a more lucrative arrangement somewhere else. Mr. Adiga, whose book was published here by Free Press, was apparently aghast at the item and told a reporter from The Hindu News that the schism with W.M.A. had actually happened many months ago, and that it had nothing to do with his recent Booker win.
The consensus among those paying attention to the situation was that the item ran when it did because people only started caring about Mr. Adiga after he won the Booker. It was, and remains, unclear whether “Mandrake,” the gossip reporter who wrote the item, had deliberately made it seem like his scoop was news, or whether he actually didn’t know how long ago it happened.
Yesterday, The Telegraph in India reported that Mr. Adiga has joined the stable of U.K. literary agent David Godwin, who has represented two other Indian writers—Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai—who have been awarded the Booker. According to The Telegraph, before Mr. Godwin took on Mr. Adiga he would joke that he was “on the hunt for a third Indian woman who will win the Booker.” A brand is a brand.