Selection Day

Selection Day is a 2016 sports fiction novel written by Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga. It was shortlisted along with four other writers for the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

Cricket glory in Mumbai is all he and his brother Radha have been taught to want. ... Co-produced by Bollywood icon Anil Kapoor ("Slumdog Millionaire"). Based on Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga's 2016 book.

The zaniness of Adiga’s novel camouflages its darker themes. Although tales of young people pursuing sports as a path out of poverty are hardly unknown, India’s unregulated capitalism greases this plan in a way that would not be possible in the United States: Mr. Kumar essentially sells off a percentage of his sons’ future earnings for about $225 a month.

This is a nation, he suggests, whose identity remains contorted by colonial imposition. “Only ten countries play this game, and only five of them play it well,” says a frustrated cricket enthusiast. “If we had any self-respect, we’d finally grow up as a people and play football. No: Let’s not expose ourselves to real competition, much safer to be in a ‘world cup’ against St. Kitts and Bangladesh. 

Three Years Before Selection Day,” these chapters are situated in relation to the all-important moment when young players are picked (or rejected). By the end, though, “Selection Day” evolves into a bittersweet reflection on the limits of what we can select. Choice — that most enticing Western ideal — does not thrive everywhere equally. 

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