Boom and Bust: The Global Novel of Ireland (2007) and India (2008)

Research output: Contribution to JournalAbstractpeer-review


This article examines the phenomenon of the global novel and its celebration as consecrated through the high prestige award of the Man Booker prize, and so constitutive of an elite global literary culture. It offers a contrastive comparison between two Booker prize-winning novels from the consecutive years of 2007 and 2008. An East-West polarisation coincidentally appears in the winners: the Irish novel The Gathering (2007) by Anne Enright and the Indian novel, The White Tiger (2008) by Aravind Adiga. Both are publications from decolonised nations and can be linked to familiar stereotypes of national economic expansion, the new or “shining” India and the Irish Celtic Tiger, at a moment when the economic boom of neoliberal globalization had peaked and before the spectacular collapse of the Irish economy in particular, in 2008. They share prizewinning assets of fictional innovativeness, social relevance and high consumer appeal at a time when networks of global capital had consolidated and transformed the neoliberal economies of their societies. Together they speak for an era that witnesses the radical decline of the West and a corresponding rise of economies in the East.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRecherche Litteraire: LIterary Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Janet M. Wilson is Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Northampton, UK. Her research focuses mainly on the postcolonial and diaspora writing of Australia and New Zealand, but she has also written on topics like refugee writing, precarity, religious fundamentalism, right wing rhetoric, post 9/11 fiction, and the global novel. She is Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded Diaspora Screen Media Network, Vice Chair of the Katherine Mansfield Society and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing.


  • Anne Enright, The Gathering
  • Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
  • New India
  • Celtic Tiger
  • global novel
  • entrepreneurialism
  • postcolonial victimhood
  • family collectivity
  • national/global imaginary


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