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Personality: Arundhati Roy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 8, 2012

Arundhati Roy (born 24 November 1961) is an Indian novelist. She won the Booker Prizein 1997 for her novel, The God of Small Things, and has also written two screenplays and several collections of essays. Her writings on various social, environmental and political issues have been a subject of major controversy in India.

She spent her childhood in Aymanam in Kerala, and went to school at Corpus ChristiKottayam, followed by the Lawrence School, Lovedale, in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. She then studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, where she met her first husband, architect Gerard da Cunha.

Roy met her second husband, filmmaker Pradip Krishen, in 1984, and played a village girl in his award-winning movie Massey Sahib. Until made financially stable by the success of her novel The God of Small Things, she worked various jobs, including running aerobics classes at five-star hotels in New Delhi. Roy is a cousin of prominent media personality Prannoy Roy, the head of the leading Indian TV media group NDTV,. She lives in New Delhi.

Early in her career, Roy worked for television and movies. She wrote the screenplays for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989), a movie based on her experiences as a student of architecture, directed by her current husband, and Electric Moon (1992); she also appeared as a performer in the first. Roy attracted attention in 1994, when she criticised Shekhar Kapur‘s film Bandit Queen, based on the life of Phoolan Devi. In her film review titled, ‘The Great Indian Rape Trick’, she questioned the right to “restage the rape of a living woman without her permission,” and charged Kapur with exploiting Devi and misrepresenting both her life and its meaning.

Roy began writing her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1992, completing it in 1996. The book is semi-autobiographical and a major part captures her childhood experiences in Aymanam.

The publication of The God of Small Things catapulted Roy to instant international fame. It received the 1997 Booker Prize for Fiction and was listed as one of the New York TimesNotable Books of the Year for 1997. It reached fourth position on the New York Times Bestsellers list for Independent Fiction. From the beginning, the book was also a commercial success: Roy received half a million pounds as an advance; It was published in May, and the book had been sold to eighteen countries by the end of June. Read the rest of this entry »

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