Twenty years after Arundhati Roy won the 1997 Booker prize for her debut novel The God of Small Things, the Indian novelist’s second, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, is set to be published in 2017, her publisher has announced.
Roy has published a wide range of nonfiction, covering topics from the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan to a condemnation of India’s nuclear tests, since she won the Booker in 1997 for her story of twins Rahel and Estha growing up in Kerala. But The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which publisher Hamish Hamilton announced on Monday, will be only her second novel.
“I am glad to report that the mad souls (even the wicked ones) in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness have found a way into the world, and that I have found my publishers,” said Roy.
“Only Arundhati could have written this novel,” added her literary agent David Godwin. “Utterly original. It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait.”
In 2011, Roy told the Independent of how her friend John Berger, a fellow Booker prize winner, had urged her to continue writing her second novel, but that she was distracted from it by her investigation into the Maoists in India. Read more