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Arundhati Roy is an Indian novelist whose works are widely accepted and also has been a topic of controversies. Arundhati Roy is known for her book "God of Small Things" which was awarded the prestigious Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997. It was also listed as one of the New York
Times Notable Books of the Year for 1997.
Life of Arundhati Roy:
Arundhati Roy was born on 24th November in 1961 at Shillong. Her father, Ranjit Roy was a Bengali Hindu tea planter and her mother, Mary Roy was a Malayali Syrian Christian women’s rights activist. Most of her childhood was spent in Aymanam in Kerala where the family moved later on. Arundhati went to Corpus Christi at Kottayam and later to Lawrence
School, Lovedale in Tamil Nadu. She then studied architecture at the
School of Planning and Architecture at New Delhi where she met her first
husband, Gerard da Cunka, an architect.
Literary Career of Arundhati Roy:
At the early stage of her career, Arundhati worked for television and movies. She wrote the screenplays for movies tilted In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989) and Electric Moon (1992). Arundhati attracted a lot of attention in 1994 for criticizing Shekhar Kapur’s movie, Bandit Queen based on the life of Phoolan Devi, an Indian dacoit. As a social worker, she bravely expressed her views and support for the Narmada Dam Project and also for the separate state of Jammu and Kashmir. Roy wrote ‘The End of Imagination’ (1998) which was published in her collection, The Cost of Living critiquing the government’s nuclear policies. She also openly criticized Anna Hazare’s campaign on corruption.
Arundhati Roy’s first novel The God of Small Things completing in 1996 is a semi-autobiographical capturing her childhood experiences in Aymanam. It was severely criticized in India for its description of sexuality. But it received much fame and glory abroad. Presently she is working on her second book. Besides these, she has written many essays concentrating on social issues.
Awards of Arundhati Roy
Arundhati was awarded the prestigious Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997 for "God of Small Things". It was also listed as one of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year for 1997. It received the fourth position on New York Times Bestsellers list for Independent Fiction. She was awarded National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1989 for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones, Lannan’s Foundation’s Cultural Freedom Award in 2002. In 2003, she was given a ‘special recognition’ as a Woman of Peace at the Global Exchange Human Rights Awards. She was also awarded Sahitya Akademi Award in January 2006 for her collection of essays on contemporary issues in The Algebra of Infinite Justice which she refused to accept. In May 2004, she was honored with Sydney Peace Prize for her innumerable social campaigns and in November, 2011 with The Norman Mailer Prize.