Power Politics by Arundhati Roy

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Synopsis

Arundhati Roy, the author of The God of Small Things, explores the politics of writing and the price of "development" driven by profit. Roy challenges the idea that only "experts" can speak out on such urgent matters as nuclear war, the human costs of the privatization of India's power supply by U.S.-based energy companies, and the construction of monumental dams in India.
 

About Arundhati Roy

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Suzanna Arundhati Roy, 1961 - Suzanna Roy was born November 24, 1961. Her parents divorced and she lived with her mother Mary Roy, a social activist, in Aymanam. Her mother ran an informal school named Corpus Christi and it was there Roy developed her intellectual abilities, free from the rules of formal education. At the age of 16, she left home and lived on her own in a squatter's colony in Delhi. She went six years without seeing her mother. She attended Delhi School of Architecture where she met and married fellow student Gerard Da Cunha. Neither had a great interest in architecture so they quit school and went to Goa. They stayed there for seven months and returned broke. Their marriage lasted only four years. Roy had taken a job at the National Institute of Urban Affairs and, while cycling down a road; film director Pradeep Krishen offered her a small role as a tribal bimbo in Massey Saab. She then received a scholarship to study the restoration of monuments in Italy. During her eight months in Italy, she realized she was a writer. Now married to Krishen, they planned a 26-episode television epic called Banyan Tree. They didn't shoot enough footage for more than four episodes so the serial was scrapped. She wrote the screenplay for the film In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones and Electric Moon. Her next piece caused controversy. It was an article that criticized Shekar Kapur's film Bandit Queen, which was about Phoolan Devi. She accused Kapur of misrepresenting Devi and it eventually became a court case. Afterwards, finished with film, she concentrated on her writing, which became the novel "A God of Small Things." It is based on what it was like growing up in Kerala. The novel contains mild eroticism and again, controversy found Roy having a public interest petition filed to remove the last chapter because of the description of a sexual act. It took Roy five years to write "A God of Small Things" and was released April 4, 1997 in Delhi. It received the Booker prize in London in 1997 and has topped the best-seller lists around the world. Roy is the first non-expatriate Indian author and the first Indian woman to win the Booker prize.
 
Published September 1, 2000 by South End Press. 128 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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In this slim yet meandering volume of three essays, Roy also criticizes an American energy company and the Indian government for allowing big business to make money privatizing electricity in a country where hundreds of millions lack any electricity.

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Spirituality & Practice

Roy is an Eastern sister to the American novelist Barbara Kingsolver who shares her righteous indignation over the globalization of the world's economy in which poor people become pawns sacrificed in the economic chess game of the free market.

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Project MUSE

The diffusion of sources of power and authority within the religious realm, along with the fluid competition for recognition and influence, mirrored that within the political realm.

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