Twenty years ago, Arundhati Roy’s first novel, The God of Small Things , took the world by storm, winning the Man Booker Prize and receiving the acclaim of readers and critics alike. After two decades in which she focused on her powerful non-fiction work, Arundhati Roy has finally returned to fiction with her long-awaited second novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness . Join us for an evening of unforgettable literary discussion with this extraordinary writer.
In a city cemetery, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet between two graves. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby appears suddenly, in a crib of litter. In a snowy valley, a father writes to his five-year-old daughter about the number of people that attended her funeral. A lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. And in the Jannat Guest House, two people who’ve known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around one another as though they have only just met. Through a rich cast of characters, the novel tells a story spanning many years and an entire subcontinent.
Roy’s seminal debut novel The God of Small Things , told the story of twins Rahel and Estha growing up in the politically turbulent state of Kerala in the 1960s. This tale of a family tragedy set against a background of social taboos, local politics and historical change received widespread critical acclaim and won the Man Booker prize in 1997.
Since her first novel, Roy has had five non-fiction books published surrouding Broken Republic and Capitalism: A Ghost Story , covering India’s 1998 nuclear tests, the rise of Hindu Nationalism, the armed Maoist insurrection in central India , the struggle for self-determination in Kashmir and US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has been jailed in the past for her views and is even now facing a trial for criminal contempt of court for an essay she wrote about an incarcerated college lecturer.
*Please note that there are two types of ticket available for this event, Ticket Only and Ticket and Book. The Ticket and Book option will entitle you to a copy of the novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.This can be collected from the Foyles stand on the day of the event, or from Foyles, Grand Central Birmingham for up to 14 days after the event
Part of Birmingham Literature Festival