Arundhati Roy with Viet Thanh Nguyen

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Twenty years after The God of Small Things won Arundhati Roy the Booker Prize and made her the most famous novelist on the Indian subcontinent, she returned in 2017 with her novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. The novel was hailed for its “combinatory genius” and longlisted for the Booker Prize. Roy’s previous novel was described as the private and intimate stories of people; The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which was published in paperback this spring, is said to recount “the vast, violent, circling, driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible, public turmoil of a nation.” Roy spoke with Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016.