Monday, January 30, 2017

Aravind Adiga’s Novel Is About the Game of Cricket — and Sexual Awakening

A nation of cricket obsessives: Kolkata, Dec. 5, 2014. Credit Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
By Aravind Adiga
289 pp. Scribner. $26.
After a year that has shattered so much received wisdom on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps there’s some comfort to be taken in one nailed-down certainty: The chances of cricket ever displacing baseball, basketball or football in the bosom of the American public are close to zero.
How different things are in Aravind Adiga’s homeland, India, a nation of cricket obsessives. There, devotion to the sport is an enthusiasm that unites 1.3 billion people, propels its finest exponents to a status of semi-divinity and seems to offer a shot at transformative victory to every slum kid with the physical gifts and stubbornness to master the game. It’s this possibility that powers Adiga’s “Selection Day,” a novel about the bewitching dream of athletic glory.

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