Arundhati Roy became the first Indian woman who has won the prestigious prize with her 1997’s work, which sold around 8 million copies that helped her in turning young author into a star.
Arundhati has turned into a non-fiction writer in these following years, mainly highlighting issues like poverty, globalization, Kashmir conflict. All the issues that are often critical of India’s ruling class.
Arundhati Roy’s first novel debut “In God of Small Things” published 20 years ago.
In her novel, Roy discussed: ‘personal despair could never be desperate enough’ because “Worse Things had happened” and would keep happening.
She also discussed the barbarities of history: the bloody politics of colonialism and partition, shockingly violent outbreaks of religious strife, paralyzing caste and class prejudices, and mainly highlighted issues like poverty and an abjectness too fearful to imagine.
It took Roy almost 10 years to produce her second novel “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.”
“There was this huge sense of urgency when I was writing the political essays, each time you wanted to blow a space open, on any issue,” Roy said in an interview.
“But fiction takes its time and is layered… It is not just a human rights report about how many people have been killed and where. How do you describe the psychosis of what is going on? Except through fiction.”
In an interview with BBC, she told that she was suddenly on the cover of every magazine, until she spoke out against India’s nuclear tests a year later.
“Not that I had a say in it, but I was being marketed as this new product of the global India,” she said.
“And then suddenly the government did these nuclear tests… And I wrote this essay condemning the tests, and at that point the fairy princess was kicked off her pedestal in a minute.”