The Shape of the Beast is our world laid bare, with great courage, passion and eloquence, by a mind that has engaged unhesitatingly with its changing realities, often anticipating the way things have moved in the last decade. In the fourteen interviews collected here, conducted between January 2001 and March 2008, Arundhati Roy examines the nature of state and corporate power as it has emerged during this period, and the shape that resistance movements are taking. As she speaks, among other things, about people displaced by dams and industry, the genocide in Gujarat, Maoist rebels, the war in Kashmir and the global War on Terror, she raises fundamental questions about democracy, justice and non-violent protest. Unabashedly political, this is also a deeply personal collection. Through the conversations, Arundhati talks about the necessity of taking a stand, as also the dilemma of guarding the private space necessary for writing in a world that demands urgent, unequivocal intervention. And in the final interview, she discusses with uncommon candour her ambiguous feelings about success and both the pressures and the freedom that come with it.
Arundhati Roy is a world renowned Indian writer in English. She was born on November 24, 1961 in Shillong, Meghalaya.
Arundhati Roy spent her childhood in Aymanam in Kerala, and did her schooling from Corpus Christi, Kottayam, followed by the Lawrence School, Lovedale, in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. She then went on to study architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She married twice and presently lives with her second husband. She played a village girl in the award winning movie Massey Sahib, directed by her second husband Pradip Krishen in 1984.
The super success of her novel The God Of Small Things put her on the global platform and brought in a sense of financial stability. She worked various jobs before the critical and commercial success of her novel. Having spent her childhood in Kerala, there are imageries of the lush green place in 'The God Of Small Things'.
Arundhati Roy has written novels, essays and is more of a social activist. She is actively involved in the Narmada Dam project, Sardar Sarovar project, the war against terror and India's nuclear weaponization. She has voiced her support for the Kashmiri separation and received criticism from the Indian National Congress and BJP for her remarks.
Arundhati Roy is also a winner of many coveted awards like Booker Prize for her novel The God of Small Things, National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1989, for the semi-autobiographical screenplay of 'In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones'. She was also awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in May 2004 for her work in social campaigns and her advocacy of non-violence. She was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for her collection of essays on contemporary issues, The Algebra of Infinite Justice which she refused to accept.
Among her literary works are books like The God of Small Things, The End of Imagination, The Greater Common Good, An Ordinary Person's Guide To Empire, Public Power in the Age of Empire Seven Stories Press, The Shape of the Beast and Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy to list a few.