The author Arundhati Roy is coming to the city to talk about her long-awaited second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

It’s part of this summer’s events ahead of Manchester Literature Festival later this year.

Twenty years ago, Roy took the literary world by storm with her excellent debut novel, The God of Small Things, the story of twins Rahel and Estha growing up in the politically turbulent state of Kerala in the 1960s.

This tale of a family tragedy set against a background of social taboos, local politics and historical change received widespread critical acclaim and won the Booker prize in 1997.

Now her second novel tells a story spanning many years and an entire subcontinent.

In a city cemetery, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet between two graves. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby appears suddenly, in a crib of litter. In a snowy valley, a father writes to his five-year-old daughter about the number of people that attended her funeral. A lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. And in the Jannat Guest House, two people who’ve known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around one another as though they have only just met.

A recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize, she has covered the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the armed Maoist insurrection in central India and the struggle for self-determination in Kashmir. She has been jailed for her views and is even now facing a trial for criminal contempt of court for an essay she wrote about an incarcerated college lecturer.

Roy will be appearing at the Royal Northern College of Music on the 9th June


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