The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
18
1
2017 Man Booker Prize Longlist

2018 Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a dazzling new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The God of Small Things . It takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent--from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Dehli 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 richly complex 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.
Publisher: Canada : Hamish Hamilton, 2017.
ISBN: 9780735234345
Branch Call Number: FIC Roy
Characteristics: 449 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
p
pridi_o
Apr 10, 2019

Beyond words... Incredible book.

h
Havanacat
Jan 11, 2019

Prose. People. The epic scope of continuing political unrest in Kashmir, told by individuals who are in the middle of it.

w
writermala
Nov 26, 2018

Arundhati Roy is a great writer. It is, therefore, no surprise that her first book won a Booker Prize. This book is very well written too. At first I felt a little uncomfortable with the charachters but soon they grew on me. Aftab/Anjum is a transgender child born into an orthodox muslim family. She is a woman trapped into a man's body and finds her way to a group of people like her. THis makes her happy and Roy follows her life along the course of the book. The book takes us from the streets of Old Delhi to Kashmir and I was gripped by the violence there. Roy follows the life of three men who are friends and in love with the same woman. The characers are refreshing and history opens up through their lives. A wonderful primer into the Indian social and historical scene. Well worth a read.

d
davidp1
Jul 08, 2018

There's a brilliant lecture and discussion by the author here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tFom1WihPY

Arundhati Roy is my hero. Her book was tough to follow in places, but it is a wonderful book.

Although the language is poetic I found the story inaccessible. As a reader unfamiliar with subtle aspects of Indian culture and with the vernacular of that country, the book could not hold my attention past 200 pages. I skipped around looking for an anchor in the story line but in the end I put it down. There are too many other good novels on life in India to bother ploughing through this poorly worked story.

h
hamerkop
Mar 21, 2018

This book is a mandatory read for the Canadian Broadcasting Company and its reporters, who conveniently refuse to address Gujarat ka Lalle's extremism and Hindu nationalist blood shedding in Rajasthan and Kashmir, in their coverage of India - Canada relations.

u
uncommonreader
Mar 14, 2018

Innovative, interesting, complex and harrowing, this novel is an indictment of the "new India" and the oppression in Kashmir and elsewhere under a nationalist Hindu government.

SCL_Justin Jan 25, 2018

The confusion I felt about whether this book is a novel or a collection of linked short stories seems appropriate to a story about hijras and transgender people, and the politics of Kashmir and policing in modern India. These aren't topics that are easily separated into nice boxes, and this book does an excellent job of immersing the reader in that ambiguity. Of course that comes at the cost of a nice simple storyline, but I think it's worth it for the scenes and relationships we get to experience.

2
2308873Library
Jan 19, 2018

#10

s
Samatuna109
Jan 04, 2018

Can't see what all the fuss is about. Have preferred many other Indian authors.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at VPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top