Arundhati’s new novel to hit stands next June

Nineteen years after ‘The God of Small Things’ wove a magic spell around readers, writer Arundhati Roy will be back with her second fiction next June.

Her publisher Hamish Hamilton UK and Penguin India on Monday announced that they will be publishing the 54-year-old’s ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’.

This will be Roy’s first work of fiction since ‘The God of Small Things’, which won the Booker Prize in 1997.

arundhati-roy

“I am glad to report that the mad souls (even the wicked ones) in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness have found a way into the world, and that I have found my publishers,” Roy said in a statement.

The publishers Simon Prosser of Hamish Hamilton and Meru Gokhale of Penguin India said it is both a pleasure and an honour to publish “an incredible book”, which has “multiple levels, one of the finest we have read in recent times”.

“The writing is extraordinary, and so too are the characters – brought to life with such generosity and empathy, in language of the utmost freshness, joyfully reminding us that words are alive too, that they can wake us up and lend us new ways of seeing, feeling, hearing, engaging. It makes the novel new – in the original meaning of novel,” they said.

Roy’s literary agent David Godwin said, “utterly original. It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait.”

Though Roy has not written a fiction since her debut novel, she had created storms through her essays on Narmada struggle, Maoists, condemnation of India’s nuclear tests and US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

She has also acted films like ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’, for which she also bagged the national award for screenplay.

(An edited story appeared in Deccan Herald on Oct 4, 2016)

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