Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Arundhati Roy: goddess of big ideas

Arundhati Roy’s fans have been waiting for a follow-up to her Booker-prize winning debut novel since 1997. Meanwhile she has thrown herself into political activism – raising hackles among India’s growing bourgeoisie with fierce polemics against capitalism. A second novel is promised – but will she ever get it finished?

Arundhati Roy: 'Most of what I've written is to do with being in solidarity with resistance movement
Arundhati Roy: ‘Most of what I’ve written is to do with being in solidarity with resistance movements.’ Photograph: Suki Dhanda for the Observer
Like India and Walt Whitman, Arundhati Roy contains multitudes. She is, however, far from large. Small, delicately boned, a beguiling mixture of piercing dark eyes and bright easy smile, she is a warm presence. She turns 53 tomorrow and the grey tint to her curls lends depth to a still strikingly youthful face. Looking at her, it’s not hard to detect the author of the richly empathetic The God of Small Things, her debut, Booker-prize winning novel about family life in Kerala, that John Updike described as a “massive interlocking structure of fine, intensely felt details”.


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