The celebration of the Man Booker Prize 2017 is here again! Arundhati Roy has made a comeback on the Man Booker Longlist with her second novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
— The Booker Prizes (@TheBookerPrizes) July 26, 2017
According to the Booker judges, Roy’s latest novel depicts “a rich and vital book [that] comes from the bowels of India”, TOI reported.
Roy’s novel circles around an Indian transgender woman’s life. The novel emerges from her experiences of being a social activist over 20 years.
Twenty years ago Roy won the prestigious British literary prize for her debut novel The God of Small Things (1997). Her much anticipated, second novel released worldwide this summer and garnered huge attention. Roy has been nominated among the top 13 authors, of which the top 6 will be selected on 13 September. The final honour will be awarded at a dinner later in October .
Roy’s novel circles around an Indian transgender woman’s life. When asked what took her two decades to produce a second novel? Roy told the Guardian,
“Fiction just takes its time. It’s no hurry. I can’t write it faster or slower than I have; it’s like you’re a sedimentary rock that’s just gathering all these layers, and swimming around.”
In an interview with the Mint prior to the launch of The Ministry, Roy said, “When I got the Booker, it was just before the nuclear tests (in Pokhran), and to me, those tests are a real marker of when what was acceptable in public discourse changed. When I wrote The End Of Imagination if I hadn’t written that, being the kind of girl on the cover of every magazine, I would have automatically been part of the party. So there wasn’t a way in which I could have just slipped under the radar. I had to step (out).”
This year’s list is comprised of seven men and six women – split similarly as last year’s longlist. Alongside Roy, other shortlisted authors are veteran writer Paul Auster for 4 3 2 1, Sebastian Barry (Days Without End), Emily Fridlund (History of Wolves), Mohsin Hamid (Exit West), Mike McCormack (Solar Bones), Jon McGregor (Reservoir 13), Fiona Mozley (Elmet), George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo), Kamila Shamsie (Home Fire), Ali Smith (Autumn), Zadie Smith (Swing Time) and Colson Whitehead for The Underground Railroad.
Fiona Mozley, from northern England, and Emily Fridlund, are first time authors.
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