“This is not the life of Arundhati”

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(photo from Womenkind Worldwide)

An article featuring Arundhati Roy and her latest book, a collection of her political essays, Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy (Hamish Hamilton), from The Guardian | Books, “What’s exciting is that writing has become a weapon” (originally published in The Observer) by Tim Adam, Sunday 12, July 2009:

“The prize,” she says now, “was actually responsible in many ways for my political activism. I won this thing and I was suddenly the darling of the new emerging Indian middle class – they needed a princess. They had the wrong woman. I had this light shining on me at the time, and I knew that I had the stage to say something about what was happening in my country. What is exciting about what I have done since is that writing has become a weapon, some kind of ammunition…

Success is dangerous. I have a very complicated relationship with that word. I think that I was quite a grown-up child, and I have been a pretty childish adult. When I was very small this mad uncle of mine who is one of the main characters in my novel took me on one side and showed me this horrible bauble. He said ‘Do you want this?’ I was maybe three or something, and of course I did. He said, ‘Well I will give it you as long as you promise to fail.’ That idea has certainly stayed with me…”

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