The Ministry of Utmost Happinessæ
A gem a great tempest of a novel: a remarkable creation, a story both intimate and international, swelling with comedy and outrage, a tale that cradles the world s most fragile people even while it assaults brutal villains. Ministry is a thoroughly absorbing work of art a hybrid of satire, romance, thriller and history. It speaks to the universal struggle of minority people to be free. Here is writing that swirls so hypnotically it doesn t feel like words on paper so much as ink on water. This vast novel will leave you awed by the heat of its anger and the depth of its compassion. Ron Charles, The Washington Post Ministry is the follow-up weve been longing for a poetic, densely populated contemporary novel in the tradition of Dickens and Tolstoy. From its beginning, one is swept up in the story. If The God of Small Things was a lushly imagined, intimate family novel slashed through with politics, Ministry encompasses wildly different economic, religious, and cultural realms across the Indian subcontinent and as far away as Iraq and California. Animating it is a kaleidoscopic variety of bohemians, revolutionaries, and lovers...With her exquisite and dynamic storytelling, Roy balances scenes of suffering and corruption with flashes of humor, giddiness, and even transcendence. Daphne Beal, Vogue Her new novel is larger, more complicated, more multilingual, more challenging as a reading experience than The God of Small Things, and no less immersing. This intricately layered and passionate novel, studded with jokes and with horrors, has room for satire and romance, for rage and politics and for steely understatement. A work of extraordinary intricacy and grace. Gillian Beer, The Prospect Affecting...A rangy and roving novel of multiple voices; an intimate picture of a diverse cast of characters...We see in detail not only their everyday lives but also their beliefs, and the contexts that inform their actions...Tilo is the book s beating heart, a beautiful and rebellious woman and a magical focal point toward which all desire in the novel flows. Roy s instinct for satire is as sharp as ever, and her stories build to a broader portrait of India over the past few decades. Roy s sentences are marked by an eloquence even as they string together various ideas and elements. Her prose is in this sense radically democratic. And her unmistakable style and her way of seeing the world become something larger, too. Amitava Kumar, - BookForum --Ron Charles,The Washington Post.Glorious....remarkable, colorful and compelling. . . Roy has a passionate following, and her admirers will not be disappointed. This ambitious new novel, like its predecessor, addresses weighty themes in an intermittently playful narrative voice. At the novel s heart are three male friends from university and the woman they all loved and continue to love.... Their lives come together like puzzle pieces; the telling involves an unusual combination of epic and classic echoes; of unexpected detail; and, unforgettably, an unflinching realism. You will [be] granted a powerful sense of their world, of the complexity, energy and diversity of contemporary India, in which darkness and exuberant vitality and inextricable intertwined. --Claire Messud, The Financial Times.