Siddhartha Deb in the NYT Magazine:
“I’ve always been slightly short with people who say, ‘You haven’t written anything again,’ as if all the nonfiction I’ve written is not writing,” Arundhati Roy said.
It was July, and we were sitting in Roy’s living room, the windows closed against the heat of the Delhi summer. Delhi might be roiled over a slowing economy, rising crimes against women and the coming elections, but in Jor Bagh, an upscale residential area across from the 16th-century tombs of the Lodi Gardens, things were quiet. Roy’s dog, Filthy, a stray, slept on the floor, her belly rising and falling rhythmically. The melancholy cry of a bird pierced the air. “That’s a hornbill,” Roy said, looking reflective.
Roy, perhaps best known for “The God of Small Things,” her novel about relationships that cross lines of caste, class and religion, one of which leads to murder while another culminates in incest, had only recently turned again to fiction. It was another novel, but she was keeping the subject secret for now. She was still trying to shake herself free of her nearly two-decade-long role as an activist and public intellectual and spoke, with some reluctance, of one “last commitment.” It was more daring than her attacks on India’s occupation of Kashmir, the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or crony capitalism. This time, she had taken on Mahatma Gandhi.