A richly moving new novel - the first since the author's Booker-Prize winning, internationally celebrated debut, The God of Small Things, went on to become a beloved best seller and enduring classic.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness transports us across a subcontinent on a journey of many years. It takes us deep into the lives of its gloriously rendered characters, each of them in search of a place of safety- in search of meaning, and of love.
In a graveyard outside the walls of Old Delhi, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby suddenly appears, just after midnight. In a snowy valley, a bereaved father writes a letter to his five-year-old daughter about the people who came to her funeral. In a second-floor apartment, a lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. At the Jannat Guest House, two people who have known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around each other, as though they have just met.
A braided narrative of astonishing force and originality, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once a love story and a provocation-a novel as inventive as it is emotionally engaging. It is told with a whisper, in a shout, through joyous tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Its heroes, both present and departed, have been broken by the world we live in-and then mended by love. For this reason, they will never surrender.
How to tell a shattered story?
By slowly becoming everybody.
By slowly becoming everything.
Humane and sensuous, beautifully told, this extraordinary novel demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy's storytelling gifts.
About the Author
Arundhati Roy is the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things. Her political writings include The Algebra of Infinite Justice, Listening to Grasshoppers, Broken Republic and Capitalism: A Ghost Story, and most recently Things That Can and Cannot Be Said, co-authored with John Cusack. Arundhati Roy lives in New Delhi and her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness will be published by Hamish Hamilton in June 2017.
She is back with a heavyweight state-of-the-nation story that has been ten years in the making * Daily Mail *
Roy's second novel proves as remarkable as her first * Financial Times *
A great tempest of a novel... which will leave you awed by the heat of its anger and the depth of its compassion * Washington Post *
A humane, engaged near-fairy tale that soon turns dark - full of characters and their meetings, accidental and orchestrated alike to find, yes, that utmost happiness of which the title speaks * Kirkus (starred review) *
An author worth waiting two decades for * Financial Times *
Ambitious, original, and haunting. A novel [that] fuses tenderness and brutality, mythic resonance and the stuff of headlines . . .essential to Roy's vision of a bewilderingly beautiful, contradictory, and broken world * Publishers Weekly (starred review) *
A masterpiece. Roy joins Dickens, Naipaul, Garcia Marquez, and Rushdie in her abiding compassion, storytelling magic, and piquant wit. A tale of suffering, sacrifice and transcendence-an entrancing, imaginative, and wrenching epic -- Donna Seaman * Booklist (starred review) *
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness confirms Roy's status as a writer of delicate human dramas that also touch on some of the largest questions of the day. It is the novel as intimate epic. Expect to see it on every prize shortlist this year * The Times *
Heartfelt, poetic, intimate, laced with ironic humour...The intensity of Roy's writing - the sheer amount she cares about these people - compels you to concentrate...This is the novel one hoped Arundhati Roy would write about India * Daily Telegraph *
Teems with human drama, contains a vivid cast of characters and offers an evocative, searing portrait of modern India * Tatler *
A beautiful and grotesque portrait of modern India and the world beyond. Take your time over it, just as the author did * Good Housekeeping *
This intimate epic about India over the past two decades is superb: political but never preachy; heartfelt yet ironic; precisely poetic * Daily Telegraph *
Arguably the biggest publishing event of the year
* Financial Times *
Fantastic. The novel is unflinchingly critical of power, and yet she empowers her underdog characters to persevere, leaving readers with a few droplets of much-needed hope. It's heartening when writers live up to the hyperbole that surrounds them * Hirsh Sawhney *
A kaleidoscopic story about the struggle for Kashmir's independence * Washington Post *
A sprawling, kaleidoscopic fable about love and resistance in modern India * The Guardian *
The first novel in 20 years from the Booker-prize winning author of The God of Small Things * Penguin *