Arundhati Roy - Cambridge 2017 CC Chris Boland

Quick facts:

Born:  24 November 1961, India 

Educated:  Lawrence School, Tamil Nadu; School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi

Genre: Fiction (novels) and non-fiction (essays)

Best known for: The God of Small Things, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness


  • Roy started out by studying architecture and then getting into acting thanks to her partner the film-maker Pradip Krishen. 
  • Roy went on to write screenplays for TV and film, winning an award for her screenplay In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989)
  • Roy worked on her first novel, The God of Small Things through the 1990s, little anticipating how it would catapult her to international fame, winning numerous prizes and reaching commercial success
  • While Roy’s second novel only came out this year, she has been very busy. She is a political activist, writes essays, and has written a television serial, The Banyan Tree

Books by this author  

The God of Small Things (1997)

An intricate, surreal novel full of lush language, The God of Small Things follows two twins from childhood as their lives take twists and turns because of the restrictive ‘Love Laws’ in place.

The Greater Common Good (1999)

"If you are to suffer, you should suffer in the interest of the country." Here, Roy unpicks issues of poverty and power surrounding the building of a dam, giving readers plenty to think about.

The Chequebook and the Cruise Missile: Conversations with Arundhati Roy (2004) 

Arundhati Roy is a distinguished speaker whose thoughts are highly valued on a number of topics. This book is a record of interviews given between 2001 and 2003, showcasing her pithy eloquence, her intellect and her opinions on a number of political situations.

The Shape Of The Beast : Conversations With Arundhati Roy (2008) 

Here, fourteen interviews with Roy are published in a collection, looking at topics from the genocide in Gujarat to American imperialism.


See also