Arundhati Roy is an Indian novelist. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel, The God of Small Things, and has also written two screenplays and several collections of essays. Her writings on various social, environmental and political issues have been a subject of major controversy in India.
Early in her career, Roy worked for television and movies. She wrote the screenplays for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989), a movie based on her experiences as a student of architecture, directed by her current husband, and Electric Moon (1992); she also appeared as a performer in the first.
Roy attracted attention in 1994, when she criticised Shekhar Kapur's film Bandit Queen, based on the life of Phoolan Devi. In her film review titled, 'The Great Indian Rape Trick', she questioned the right to "restage the rape of a living woman without her permission," and charged Kapur with exploiting Devi and misrepresenting both her life and its meaning.
Since the success of her novel, Roy has been working as a screenplay writer again, writing a television serial, The Banyan Tree,and the documentary DAM/AGE: A Film with Arundhati Roy (2002).
In early 2007, Roy announced that she would begin work on a second novel.
Arundhati Roy was one of the contributors on the book We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples, released in October 2009.
The book explores the culture of peoples around the world, portraying their diversity and the threats to their existence. The royalties from the sale of this book go to the indigenous rights organization Survival International.
On August 22, 2011 Arundhati Roy accused Anna Hazare in a newspaper article of being nonsecular. She questioned Anna's secular credentials pointing out "his support for Raj Thackeray's Marathi Manoos xenophobia and his praise of the 'development model' Narendra Modi CM of Gujarat who oversaw the 2002 Gujrat riots against Muslims".
The website of the newspaper published many responses to her article and these were mostly critical of her views. Social Activist Medha Patkar strongly condemned Arundhati Roy, by alleging that her views were misplaced.
Arundhati Roy was awarded the 1997 Booker Prize for her novel The God of Small Things. The award carried a prize of about US $30,000 and a citation that noted, 'The book keeps all the promises that it makes.'Prior to this, she won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1989, for the screenplay of In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones.
In 2002, she won the Lannan Foundation's Cultural Freedom Award for her work "about civil societies that are adversely affected by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations," in order "to celebrate her life and her ongoing work in the struggle for freedom, justice and cultural diversity."
In 2003, she was awarded 'special recognition' as a Woman of Peace at the Global Exchange Human Rights Awards in San Francisco with Bianca Jagger, Barbara Lee and Kathy Kelly.
Roy was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in May 2004 for her work in social campaigns and her advocacy of non-violence.
In January 2006, she was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, a national award from India's Academy of Letters, for her collection of essays on contemporary issues, The Algebra of Infinite Justice, but she declined to accept it "in protest against the Indian Government toeing the US line by 'violently and ruthlessly pursuing policies of brutalisation of industrial workers, increasing militarisation and economic neo-liberalisation.'"
In November 2011, she was awarded the Norman Mailer Prize for Distinguished Writing.
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