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New from Arundhati Roy

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 8:02am by potterbee

Twenty years ago, the Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things hit the shelves and has remained in demand ever since. In the years since then, Arundhati Roy has published dozens of essays and non-fiction work, made documentaries, protested against government corruption, Hindu nationalism, environmental degradation and inequality, campaigned for Kashmiri independence, Maoist rebels and indigenous land rights, and was featured on Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. To her political fans, she is the radical left voice of principled resistance; to her critics, the worst sort of adolescent idealist: unrealistic and self-indulgent. She has faced criminal charges of contempt and sedition, been imprisoned, and fled India briefly last year in fear for her life. She has not, until now, published another word of fiction.

Available this summer is a new novel from author Arundhati Roy titled The ministry of utmost happiness. This new work of literary fiction is highly anticipated. While noted as a challenging read, Roy's prosaic style is highly praised for embracing in a way that sweeps you through the story.

The complexity of Roy's writing allows for more than one thread in the story which begins with Anjum, born intersex and raised as a male. Later, she moves from her childhood home in Delhi to the nearby House of Dreams, choosing to live among a group of Hijras, transgendered women with a long, marginalized history in India. Finally, when this home fails her, she builds a home for herself in a city graveyard, where the tale begins.

The other major narrative thread concerns an unorthodox South Indian woman named Tilo. “She gave the impression that she had somehow slipped off her leash,” observes a friend. “As though she was taking herself for a walk while the rest of us were being walked — like pets.” Tilo studies architecture in Delhi in the 1980s and through a beloved college classmate, Musa, is caught up in the long, violent struggle for independence in the disputed northern territory of Kashmir.

"Shifting fluidly between moods and time frames, Roy juxtaposes first-person and omniscient narration with "found" documents to weave her characters' stories with India's social and political tensions, particularly the violent retaliations to Kashmir's long fight for self-rule. Sweeping, intricate, and sometimes densely topical, the novel can be a challenging read. Yet its complexity feels essential to Roy's vision of a bewilderingly beautiful, contradictory, and broken world." - Publisher's Weekly Review

“Roy’s novel will be the unmissable literary read of the summer. With its insights into human nature, its memorable characters and its luscious prose, Ministry is well worth the wait.” –Sarah Begley, TIME

Reader's may enjoy this interview with John Cusak from November 2015, about her popular non-fiction book, Things that can and cannot be said while you await your copy!

Comments

This is intriguing; I wonder how the time shifting works. This seems very much like a book for the moment and I hope it measures up for Roy's fans.

Read God of Small Things in book club several years ago and looking forward to this new one!

I remember really liking The God of Small Things when I read it ages ago, though I can't at this point recall much about it. This one sounds fascinating and I'll add it to my reading list.

Thanks for the head's up!

So awesome! Roy is one of my all-time favorite authors. So happy to see that she's writing fiction again!!!

Thank you for bringing my attention to this book! I'm really looking forward to reading it.

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