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Manju is fourteen. He knows he is good at cricket - if not as good as his elder brother Radha. He knows that he hates his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented brother and is fascinated by CSI and curious and interesting scientific facts. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn't know . . . Everyone around him, it seems, has a clear idea of who Manju should be, except Manju himself.
But when Manju begins to get to know Radha's great rival, a boy as privileged and confident as Manju is not, everything in Manju'a world begins to change and he is faced by decisions that will challenge both his sense of self and of the world around him.
As Sneha Vakharia writes, "Ansari and Kumar don’t know this yet – they are simply two 14-year-old boys batting in the Harris Shield competition – but Aravind Adiga has just set the stage for one of Indian literature’s most searing and complex teenage relationships. Adiga says it's not a love story, but the romance between Javed Ansari and Manjunath Kumar seems palpable. Which also means it is fraught with confusion, self-loathing, and secrecy. It is set against the backdrop of competitive cricket in Mumbai, where every boy wants to be the next big thing from Shivaji Park. In a sport where few have come out as gay or bisexual. In a country where no sportsman has ever come out openly."
As sensitively observed as The White Tiger (Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008) was brilliantly furious, Selection Day reveals another facet of its author's remarkable talent.
Author: Aravind Adiga
Paperback, 330 pages, Orig. Published 2016, This Edition Published 2018
''[A] finely told, often moving, and intelligent novel . . . Adiga's novel takes in class, religion and sexuality - all issues that disrupt the dream of a sport that cares for nothing but talent and temperament. Because Adiga is a novelist, and one who has grown in his art since his Booker prizewinning debut, The White Tiger, he knows how to talk about all these matters through his characters and their compelling stories.'' (Kamila Shamsie, The Guardian)
''What makes Selection Day special beyond its journalistic achievements is its sure sense of the eroticism of the locker room. Stripped of his cricketing whites and chest guard, the sportsman is at risk of exposing his heart . . . Never predictable, never simple and never consoling.'' (Literary Review)