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The End of Imagination,
Arundhati Roy

The End of Imagination,
Arundhati Roy

“Unless fiction becomes disobedient, it will become irrelevant.”

Arundhati Roy: a fiercely-articulate award-winning novelist, essayist, feared political activist, former actress and screenwriter, and both the topic of, and honored guest for, this unit of #BecauseWeveRead.

And we’re quite thrilled.

Referred to in the New York Times as “India’s most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence,”Arundhati Roy stands as one of the most influential writers in the world today. Her writing includes the award-winning The God of Small Things, Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, Capitalism: A Ghost Story, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, among other fiction and non-fiction work. But beyond her writing, her work also extends into the streets: Roy is an outspoken activist, frequently working on and discussing issues related to India’s illegal military occupation of Kashmir, anti-Zionism, political repression, caste and class, and a myriad of environmental and human rights issues — many of which are discussed in The End of Imagination.

We love a principled, badass woman.

Her book The End of Imagination is a collection of Roy’s essays that intertwine the beauty and flow of her fiction writing with her articulate and scathing political non-fiction writing. The result is a composition that is both a deeply emotional and wildly powerful deconstruction and analysis of empire, capitalism, and power.

As Haymarket Books, our official partner for this unit, comprehensively describes The End of Imagination:
“This new collection begins with her pathbreaking book The Cost of Living,— published soon after she won the Booker Prize for her novel The God of Small Things—, in which she forcefully condemned India’s nuclear tests and its construction of enormous dam projects that continue to displace countless people from their homes and communities. The End of Imagination also includes her nonfiction works Power Politics, War Talk, Public Power in the Age of Empire, and An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, which include her widely circulated and inspiring writings on the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the need to confront corporate power, and the hollowing out of democratic institutions globally.”

Additional resources

“Arundhati Roy on The End of Imagination”, (video) interview on Democracy Now

“Arundhati Roy: ‘The point of the writer is to be unpopular’” Q&A with famous fans & readers, The Guardian

Capitalism, A Ghost Story (2014), one of my favorite books by Arundhati Roy

“Capitalism: A Ghost Story – An Evening with Arundhati Roy and Siddhartha Deb” (video), lecture at The New School

Field Notes on Democracy (2015), Arundhati Roy

My Seditious Heart (2019), Arundhati Roy

“What is the Morally Appropriate Language in Which to Think and Write?” essay by Arundhati Roy, Literary Hub

Arundhati Roy on ‘Walking with the Comrades'”, interview, The Paris Review

“#MeTooUrbanNaxal: An Open Statement by Arundhati Roy”Caravan Magazine

“Arundhati Roy on the Rise of Fascism & Trump’s Embrace of India’s Robber Barons” (video), Democracy Now interview

Full extended interview with Arundhati Roy on Democracy Now (video)

“Arundhati Roy in conversation with Anthony Arnove” (video)