Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned writer and committed humanist who gained international attention with her award-winning novel The God of Small Things published in 1997. She writes of the connections between caste, class, capitalism and imperialism. Between her first novel and the second novel, which appeared two decades later to critical acclaim, she predominantly wrote literary and political essays, and took active part in the issues confronting Indian civil society: religious persecution, economic inequalities, caste and class hierarchies, and the exploitation of natural resources and the dispossession of rural peasantry in the name of development. Her extensive non-fictional work – Walking with Comrades, The Algebra of Infinite Justice, My Seditious Heart among others – and her second novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017), draws attention to how capitalism and privatisation have undermined democracy, devastated the environment and accelerated the race to irreversible climate change. Both her fiction and non-fiction have been subject to lively – at times heated – scholarly debates both within and outside of India. Her writings have amassed readership in more than forty languages.
Roy has been an outspoken critic of communalism and majoritarianism in Indian politics. Her incisive analysis of the infrastructure of grassroots facism, and the ideological manure required to cultivate it in a society like India and beyond, forms the basis for her latest collection of essays titled Azadi – Freedom, Fascism, Fiction (2020), which forms the basis for this reading and conversation on the 22 January, 2021 from 10:00h -12:00h CET | 14:30h – 16:30h IST. The event will be held in English.
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“In Transit|ion – Frankfurt Lectures in Literary and Cultural Studies” is a prestigious transdisciplinary lecture series organized by the Institute of English and American Studies at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. Twice a semester, leading writers and scholars from the English-speaking world present their work in the fields of American Studies, English Studies, and Anglophone Literatures and Cultures. Since its inception in 2016, the series has featured speakers from top universities in Britain (Oxford, Cambridge), the U.S. (Columbia, Chicago), Australia (Monash) and India (North Bengal).