BJP MP and actor Paresh Rawal created a stir last week with his tweet on the Man Booker Award winning author Arundhati Roy. “Instead of tying the stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy,” he wrote. That Roy has been very vocal in condemning the Indian Army’s actions in Kashmir and the North-East for the past two decades is no secret, but what provoked Rawal to drag her into the conversation out of the blue is yet not clear.
The tweet which was retweeted and liked several hundred times has brought a gratis spotlight on Arundhati Roy who is gearing up for the release of her next book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Twenty years after the release of The God of Small Things, the 51-year old literary genius will return to the world of fiction in a headstrong novel.
And if you’re still agonizing about what the new book is about, we’re here to brief with things that will beseech your curiosity and compel you to pre-order your copy.
- The Ministry of Utmost Happiness will release in over 30 countries
- It is a thick 400-page long novel situated in the writing traditions propounded by Tolstoy, Dickens, and Marquez.
- It is a riveting tale of a hermaphrodite in Old Delhi who is raised as a boy named Aftab but later starts to live as a woman and adopts the name Anjum.
- She seeks refuge in a colony of hijras and her eccentric demeanor makes her the voice of the voiceless as she embraces the role of spokesperson for the hijra community.
- After narrowly escaping death in a Muslim genocide that takes place in the state of Gujarat, she denounces everything to lead a reclusive life in a cemetery.
- She later builds a guesthouse among the gravestones at the cemetery that leads to a myriad tale of magic-realism combined with metaphorical characters.
- While The God of Small Things relied heavily on imagination, a family drama lacerated with struggle and manipulation, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is based in an Old Delhi setting, which cross-examines varied cultural, economic, and religious spheres across India, Iraq, and California, USA.
- The book transcends and convolves the impressions of Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit to paint a picture of an independent India.