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Arundhati Roy

Writer

Born: 24 November 1959
Birthplace: Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Best known as: The author of the novel The God of Small Things

Name at birth: Suzanna Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy is the Indian social activist and author whose novel The God of Small Things won the prestigious Booker Prize for literature in 1997. Roy is a unusual blend of artist and activist; she has yet to publish a second novel. She left home at 16 and attended the Delhi School of Architecture. In 1984 she met her future husband, film director Pradip Krishen. She went on to write the TV movie In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones (1989, in which she also starred), and Electric Moon (1992). After souring on the film industry she turned to writing fiction; her first effort was the remarkable The God of Small Things, a tragic story of Indian twins Estha and Rahel and a family entangled in the rigid Indian caste system. It sold six million copies and made her famous. She spent the next decade writing and speaking on political topics like India's nuclear weapons programs, the Narmada Dam, and the war in Iraq. Her non-fiction books include The Cost of Living (1999), Power Politics (2002), and War Talk (2003). She announced in 2007 that she was beginning work on a second novel.

Extra credit: Some sources say Roy was born in 1961; we take the word of the U.S. Library of Congress, The Lannan Foundation and and other sources who say 1959... Roy was the first Indian woman to win the Booker Prize... She was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in 2004 for her non-violent devotion to social causes... The title The God of Small Things refers to the character Velutha, a family handyman.

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More on Arundhati Roy from Infoplease:

  • Arundhati Roy - Biography of Arundhati Roy, The author of the novel The God of Small Things
  • Man Booker Prize - Find the winners of the Man Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award. All awards, from 1969 to the present, are listed.
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  • Selected Biographies: R - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters
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