Born: November 24, 1961
Achievement: Won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her first novel "The
God of Small Things"; Awarded Sydney Peace Prize in 2004.
Arundhati Roy is a famous Indian novelist and social activist.
Arundhati Roy came into limelight in 1997 when she won the Booker Prize
for her first novel "The God of Small Things". She was awarded
Sydney Peace Prize in 2004.
Arundhati Roy was born November 24, 1961 in Assam. Her mother was a
Keralite Christian and her father was a Bengali Hindu. Their marriage
was not successful and Arundhati Roy spent her childhood years in
Aymanam, Kerala with her mother. Arundhati's mother, who was a prominent
social activist, founded an independent school and taught her daughter
age of sixteen Arundhati left home, and eventually enrolled at the Delhi
School of Architecture. There she met her first husband, Gerard Da
Cunha, a fellow architecture student. Their marriage lasted four years.
Both of them did not have great love for architecture, so they quit
their profession and went off to Goa. They used to make cake and sell it
on the beach to make living. This continued for seven months after which
Arundhati returned back to Delhi.
She took a job at the National Institute of Urban Affairs, rented a
barsati near the dargah at Nizamuddin and hired a bicycle. One day film
director Pradeep Krishen saw her cycling down a street and offered her a
small role of tribal girl in the film "Massey Saab". Arundhati
Roy accepted the role after initial reservations. She later on married
Pradeep Krishen. Meanwhile, Arundhati got a scholarship to go to Italy
for eight months to study the restoration of monuments.
After returning from Italy Arundhati Roy linked with her husband to
planned a 26 episode television serial for Doordarshan called the Banyan
Tree. The serial was later scrapped. She wrote screenplays for a couple
of TV films - "In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones" and "Electric
Moon". Arundhati Roy also wrote screenplay for Shekhar Kapur's
controversial film 'Bandit Queen'. The controversy escalated into a
court case, after which Arundhati Roy retired to private life to
concentrate on her writing, which eventually resulted in "The God
of Small Things".
After winning the Booker Prize for "The God of Small Things",
Arundhati Roy has concentrated her writings on political issues. She has
written on varied topics such as Narmada Dam project, India's nuclear
weapons and American power giant Enron's activities in India. Arundhati
Roy strongly associated with anti-globalization movement and is a
staunch critic of neo-imperialism.