Suzanna Arundhati Roy is an Indian novelist, fiction and non-fiction writer as well as an essayist. She has written at least six books and innumerable articles and Essays. Roy is renowned for her Man Booker Prize winning Novel ‘The God of Small Things’ released in 1997. The novel became the biggest best-sellers ever written by any non expatriate Indian author.
Roy has a very strong voice and is known for never shying away from giving her opinion, whether it is about the political climate in a country or any thing that matters on a large scale. She is also known for her political activism and is involved in matters of concern such as environmental issues and human rights. Roy was also awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in 2004.
Roy was born on 24 November 1961, in the Indian city of Shillong in Meghalaya to Mary Roy, a Keralite Christian and Rajib Roy, an Indian Bengali Hindu from Kolkata. (Then Calcutta) While her mother was a women’s rights activist, her father managed a tea plantation. She has one sibling, a brother. When she was just two years old, her parents divorced, which resulted in Roy and her brother moving to Kerala, her mother’s hometown. When she was five years old, Roy’s mother started a school in Kerala.
Roy had a privileged up-bringing, having attending the Corpus Christi school in Kottayam and later The Lawrence School, Lovedale in the Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu. She was also a student of architecture at ‘The School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi’.
Roy enjoyed success briefly when she wrote and acted in ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’. The movie won the National Award for best Screenplay. But she attracted nation-wide attention when she criticized Shekhar Kapoor’s biopic on Phoolan Devi, ‘Bandit Queen’, by calling it “The Great Indian Rape trick”.
Roy achieved world-wide recognition with her novel, ‘The God of Small Things’. She took four years the complete the book, between 1992 and 1996, and gives semi-autobiographical accounts of her life and childhood experiences in Kerala. The novel won Roy the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997 and was an international best seller, selling in 18 countries around the world. Roy was said to have received half a Million pounds as an advance for the book. It was recognized in the Top five books of 1997 by Time Magazine.
Roy has written several other novels and won many awards. She is the winner of the ‘Lannan Foundation’s Cultural Freedom Award’, ‘The Sydney Peace Prize’ and the ‘Norman Mailer Prize’ among others.
Roy has met with harsh criticisms and death threats due to her extremely vocal opinions, but continues on the path of activism, calling it her right as an Indian, thinking citizen.
Arundhati Roy – Fiction Books
Though she has written a lot of non-fiction, her fiction book ‘The God of Small Things’ made her a household name. She released another fiction book in 2017, known as ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’.
Roy was first married to Gerard Da Cunha, a fellow student at the ‘The School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi’. The marriage was short lived, lasting only four years. Following an unsuccessful career in architecture and a monotonous marriage, Roy split with Da Cunha.
In 1984, Roy met Pradip Krishen, an independent filmmaker, when she moved back to Delhi. Krishnen offered her a role in his award-winning film ‘Massey Sahib’. She soon married Krishen but the marriage did not last either as Roy soon became disillusioned with the movie business. The couple split up eventually.
Arundhati Roy – Net worth
As of 2017, Roy has an estimated Net Worth of $3 Million.