AUTHOR OF THE WEEK
FEB. IV WEEK, 2011
Arundhati Roy Profile
Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya to a Keralite Syrian Christian mother and a Bengali Hindu father, a tea planter by profession. She spent her childhood in Aymanam, in Kerala, schooling in Corpus Christi. She left Kerala for Delhi at age 16, and embarked on a homeless lifestyle, staying in a small hut with a tin roof within the walls of Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla and making a living selling empty bottles. She then proceeded to study architecture at the Delhi School of Architecture, where she met her first husband, the architect Gerard Da Cunha.
The God of Small Things is the only novel written by Roy. Since winning the Booker Prize, she has concentrated her writing on political issues. These include the Narmada Dam project, India’s Nuclear Weapons, corrupt power company Enron‘s activities in India. She is a figure-head of the anti-globalization/alter-globalization movement and a vehement critic of neo-imperialism.
In response to India’s testing of nuclear weapons in Pokhran, Rajasthan, Roy wrote The End of Imagination, a critique of the Indian government’s nuclear policies. It was published in her collection The Cost of Living, in which she also crusaded against India’s massive hydroelectric dam projects in the central and western states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. She has since devoted herself solely to nonfiction and politics, publishing two more collections of essays as well as working for social causes.
In June 2005 she took part in the World Tribunal on Iraq. In January 2006 she was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award for her collection of essays, ‘The Algebra of Infinite Justice’, but declined to accept it.
Born: November 24, 1961
Achievement: Won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her first novel “The God of Small Things”; Awarded Sydney Peace Prize in 2004.
Arundhati Roy is a famous Indian novelist and social activist. Arundhati Roy came into limelight in 1997 when she won the Booker Prize for her first novel “The God of Small Things”. She was awarded Sydney Peace Prize in 2004.
Arundhati Roy was born November 24, 1961 in Assam. Her mother was a Keralite Christian and her father was a Bengali Hindu. Their marriage was not successful and Arundhati Roy spent her childhood years in Aymanam, Kerala with her mother. Arundhati’s mother, who was a prominent social activist, founded an independent school and taught her daughter informally.
At age of sixteen Arundhati left home, and eventually enrolled at the Delhi School of Architecture. There she met her first husband, Gerard Da Cunha, a fellow architecture student. Their marriage lasted four years. Both of them did not have great love for architecture, so they quit their profession and went off to Goa. They used to make cake and sell it on the beach to make living. This continued for seven months after which Arundhati returned back to Delhi.
She took a job at the National Institute of Urban Affairs, rented a barsati near the dargah at Nizamuddin and hired a bicycle. One day film director Pradeep Krishen saw her cycling down a street and offered her a small role of tribal girl in the film “Massey Saab”. Arundhati Roy accepted the role after initial reservations. She later on married Pradeep Krishen. Meanwhile, Arundhati got a scholarship to go to Italy for eight months to study the restoration of monuments.
After returning from Italy Arundhati Roy linked with her husband to planned a 26 episode television serial for Doordarshan called the Banyan Tree. The serial was later scrapped. She wrote screenplays for a couple of TV films – “In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones” and “Electric Moon”. Arundhati Roy also wrote screenplay for Shekhar Kapur’s controversial film ‘Bandit Queen’. The controversy escalated into a court case, after which Arundhati Roy retired to private life to concentrate on her writing, which eventually resulted in “The God of Small Things”.
After winning the Booker Prize for “The God of Small Things”, Arundhati Roy has concentrated her writings on political issues. She has written on varied topics such as Narmada Dam project, India’s nuclear weapons and American power giant Enron’s activities in India. Arundhati Roy strongly associated with anti-globalization movement and is a staunch critic of neo-imperialism.