The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Hardcover)
Twenty years after The God of Small Things, this. Again, tell-tale wonder, from even deeper, more realized places. This novel of people seeking to live, love, give, get, care - done over time (dying a part of the living), is of things sought, things that may not happen, come easily, lightly, or lastingly and, yet, in some ways do. They are carried with surpassing grace, wit, tenacity, and tenderness. Near the end, one of the characters, years along in knowing love, death, and justice, speaks to the current 'stupidification' of things. This novel of utmost heart and beauty comes to us from a depth the 'stupidification' of things would not have us see. And yet, such a book helps show us we can, we do, we will. -Rick— From Summer Booknotes 2017
New York Times Best Seller
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize A dazzling, richly moving new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The God of Small Things
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent--from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war. It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love--and by hope. The tale begins with Anjum--who used to be Aftab--unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her--including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo's landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs' Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi. As this ravishing, deeply humane novel braids these lives together, it reinvents what a novel can do and can be. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness 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 nonfiction 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, coauthored with John Cusack.