The bestselling, Booker Award—winning Indian novelist Arundhati Roy has not been sitting on her hands since The God of Small Things was a worldwide hit four years ago. Not long since, she published a nonfiction book, The Cost of Living, at Modern Library, and now she is doing a book on the role of the writer in society, Power Politics, for the small, activist Boston publisher, South End Press. Editor and publisher Anthony Arnove explained that when he heard Roy give a speech at Hampshire College three months ago, he asked her to write about her activist role in Indian politics, where she has been critical of government and Supreme Court actions, and as a result has been involved in several lawsuits there. She agreed, and a deal was worked out through her London agent, David Godwin, and David Forrer at Witherspoon Associates, representing him here, giving South End U.S. and Canadian rights to the book. It will be published in September. Roy first became embattled when an Indian lawyer filed a petition against God in 1997, claiming it would corrupt the minds of readers. The Indian Supreme Court objected to an essay she wrote two years ago criticizing its role in the impact of a dam on poor villagers in the Narmada Valley, and she is currently involved in another legal dispute over a demonstration in which she appeared outside the Supreme Court. "As a writer," she declares, "I have the right to state my opinions and beliefs."
Volume 248 Issue 20 05/14/2001