Biography of Arundhati Roy | Life and Career: Indian author Arundhati Roy is not only an author; she is also an activist for environmental causes and human rights. She is popular for her 1997 novel God of Small Things, which won her the Booker Prize for Fiction. Let’s read more about Arundhati Roy.

Early Life

Suzanna Arundhati Roy was born on November 24, 1961 in Shillong, Meghalaya. She was born to Rajib Roy, a Bengali Hindu tea plantation manager from Kolkata and Mary Roy, a women’s rights activist from Kerala. When Roy was just two, her parents got divorced she came back to Kerala with her mother. She did her schooling at Corpus Christi, Kottayam and then Lawrence School, Lovedale in Tamil Nadu. Roy studied architecture at School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. Arundhati Roy is a cousin of the head of Indian TV media group NDTV, Prannay Roy.

Biography of Arundhati Roy | Life and Career
Biography of Arundhati Roy | Life and Career

Personal Life

While studying architecture she met architect Gerald da Cunha and they got married in 1978. They lived in Delhi, then Goa, and got divorced in 1982. In 1984, she met filmmaker Pradip Kishen. He offered her a role as a goatherd in the award-winning film Massey Sahib. They got married in the same year. The couple also collaborated on a television series regarding India’s movement. And, they also collaborated on two films, Annie and Electric Moon. Roy experimented with several things including running aerobics classes. Pradip Krishen and Arundhati Roy are still married however, they live separately. Roy became financially secure after the success of her novel The God of Small Things.

Arundhati Roy – Career

At the beginning of her career, Roy worked in television and movies. She wrote screenplays for Annie Gives It Those Ones and Electric Moon. Roy won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1988 for Annie. In her movie review titled “The Great Indian Rape Trick”, she questioned the right to “restage the rape of a living woman without her permission”. This criticism of her about Shekhar Kapur’s film Bandit Queen attracted a lot of attention in 1994.

Roy began writing The God of Small Things, her first novel in 1992 and completed it in 1996. The novel is semi-autobiographical and depicts some major parts of her childhood experiences in Aymanam. It received the Booker Prize in 1997 and was listed as one of the notable books of the year in The New York Times. The book received international recognition from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Toronto Star, and more. According to Time, it was one of the best five books of 1997. Then, the chief minister of Kerala, E. K. Nayanar criticized the book, especially for the uninhibited depiction of sexuality.

Her 2017 published novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness was chosen for Man Booker Prize 2017 Long List. In 2019, Haymarket Books published her non-fiction collection in a single volume, My Seditious Heart.

Biography of Arundhati Roy | Life and Career
Biography of Arundhati Roy | Life and Career

Arundhati Roy – Advocacy

Since the publication of her first novel, she has spent most of her time on activism. She is a vehement critic of neo-imperialism and U.S. foreign policy. Roy is a spokesperson for the anti-globalization movement. She opposes India’s policies towards nuclear weapons, industrialization, and economic growth – she describes them as “encrypted with genocidal potential”.

Roy also criticizes prominent political figure Anna Hazare on 21 August 2011. Her piece was published in The Hindu. She questioned Hazare’s secular credentials questioning the anti-corruption campaign’s corporate banking, it’s suspicious timing and more. In 2013, she referred to Narendra Modi’s nomination as prime minister as a “tragedy”. On April 28, 2021, about the Covid-19 pandemic, The Guardian published an article by the writer describing the Indian government’s response as a “crime against humanity”.

Roy has shared her views and opinions about several political and uneventful incidents. She has shared her views on Naxalites, the Sri Lankan government, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Muthanga incident, the 2001 Parliament Attack, Israeli terrorism, Kashmir events, and more.

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