Popular Kerala Writers

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy (born November 24, 1961) is an Indian novelist, author of The God of Small Things, for which she won the Booker Prize.



Arundhati Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya to a Keralite Syrian Christian mother and a Bengali Hindu father. She spent her childhood in Aymanam in Kerala. She left Kerala for Delhi at age 16, and embarked on a bohemian lifestyle, staying in a small hut with a tin roof and making a living selling empty beer bottles. She then proceeded to study architecture at the Delhi School of Architecture.

Arundhati met her film-maker husband in 1984, under whose influence she moved into films. She acted in the role of a village girl in the award-winning movie Massey Sahib, and wrote the screenplays for In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones and Electric Moon.

She began writing The God of Small Things in 1992 and finished it in 1996. She received half-a-million pounds in advances, and rights to the book were sold in 21 countries. The book is semi-autobiographical and a major part captures her childhood experiences in Aymanam.

Roy is also a well known peace activist. One of her first essays was in response to India's testing of nuclear weapons in Pokhran, Rajasthan. The essay, titled The End of Imagination, is a critique against the Indian government's nuclear policies. It was published in her collection "The Cost of Living," in which she also begins her crusade against India's massive hydroelectric dam project. Since then she has devoted herself solely to non-fiction and politics, publishing two more collections of essays as well as working for humanist causes.

In 2002 she was convicted of contempt of court by the Supreme Court in New Delhi for accusing the court of attempting to silence protests against the Narmada Dam Project, but received only a symbolic sentence of one day in prison.

Roy was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in May, 2004, for her work in social campaigns and advocacy of non-violence.

In early 2005, New Republic commentator Tom Frank sparked controversy with the threat, "Maybe sometimes you just want to be on the side of whoever is more likely to take a bunker buster to Arundhati Roy

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