Synopses & Reviews
As the United States pushes for war on Iraq, Arundhati Roy, the internationally acclaimed author of The God of Small Things
, addresses issues of democracy and dissent, racism and empire, and war and peace in this collection of new essays.
The eloquence, passion, and political insight of Roy's political essays have added legions of readers to those already familiar with her Booker Prize-winning novel. Invited to lecture as part of the prestigious Lannan Foundation series on the first anniversary of the unconscionable attacks of September 11, 2001, Roy challenged those who equate dissent with being "anti-American." Her previous essays on globalization and dissent have led many to see Roy as "India's most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence" (New York Times).
War Talk collects new essays by this prolific writer. Her work highlights the global rise of religious and racial violence. From the horrific programs against Muslims in Gujarat, India, to U.S. demands for war on Iraq, Roy confronts the call to militarism. Desperately working against the backdrop of the nuclear recklessness between her homeland and Pakistan, she calls into question the equation of nation and ethnicity. And throughout her essays, Roy interrogates her own roles as "writer" and "activist."
"If [Roy] continues to upset the globalization applecart like a Tom Paine pamphleteer, she will either be greatly honored or thrown in jail," wrote Pawl Hawken in Wired Magazine. In fact she was jailed in March 2002, when India's Supreme Court found Roy in contempt of the court after months of attempting to silence her criticism of the government.
Fully annotated versions of all Roy's most recent essays, including her acclaimed Lannan Foundation lecture from September 2002, are included in War Talk.
"The fierceness with which she loves humanity moves my heart." Alice Walker
"Big events seen from the keyhole of daily life. Arundhati Roy has an exceptional talent to turn facts, names, and even numbers into flesh and land. A book to be read? A breathing to be felt." Eduardo Galeano, author of Open Veins of Latin America
"The relentless beauty of Arundhati Roy's prose is becoming a problem. It made her 1997 novel The God of Small Things a sensation, but it has complicated the response to her essays. Roy's critics call her arguments too neat, too emotional, too pretty to be convincing, but she makes no apologies....Most essayists are content to make you think; Arundhati Roy wants you to believe." Jyoti Thottam, Village Voice
"So fluent is her prose, so keen her understanding of global politics, and so resonant her objections to nuclear weapons, assaults against the environment, and the endless suffering of the poor that her essay are as uplifting as they are galvanizing." Booklist
War Talk collects new essays on politics, war and activism by Arudhati Roy, the author of The God of Small Things.
About the Author
Arundhati Roy was trained as an architect. Roy is the winner of the Lannan Foundation's Prize for Cultural Freedom, 2002. She is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the Booker Prize, and The Cost of Living, described by Salman Rushdie as "brilliant reportage with a passionate, no-holds-barred commentary." Roy's most recent collection of essays, Power Politics, now in its second edition sold over 25,000 copies in its first 12 months. Roy lives in New Delhi, India.