Bringing up Arundhati Roy in certain Indian circles is a matter that requires great delicacy. The responses evoked are usually extreme: cat claws and meows on the one hand, or unabashed hero-worship on the other.
It wasn’t always this way. When Roy won the Booker in 1997 she was the can-do-no-wrong darling of the Indian media. Her beauty, brains and brassiness catapulted her into supersonic stardom, and the entire country, whether or not they’d read The God of Small Things, waited to see what she would come up with next.
But Roy had no immediate plans for further fiction, and turned instead to non-fiction and grassroots activism. Yet after a decade of active campaigning, Roy recently announced that she’ll be returning to fiction. Apparently, she’s tired of being “imprisoned by facts” and “having to get it right,” so she’s going back to what fiction writers do best – giving us a piece of the world the way they see it. Love it or lump it, it’s up to you.