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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness not for movie: Arundhati Roy

"It is not a novel that wants to be an essay, it is not a novel that wants to be a film, All it wants to be is a novel.

Arundhati Roy, author and political activist involved in human rights and environmental causes, gestures during the presentation of her book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness at the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome, Italy, 12 June 2017.  EPA
Arundhati Roy, author and political activist involved in human rights and environmental causes, gestures during the presentation of her book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness at the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome, Italy, 12 June 2017. EPA

Author Arundhati Roy has said her second book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is not a novel which is to be made into a movie.

With The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Roy has marked her return to the world of literary fiction this year, after a gap of two decades.

Roy, who received The Man Booker Prize in 1997 for her first book The God of Small Things, was speaking at the Penguin Fever organised by Penguin Random House India to mark 30 years of the publishing house, in the India Habitat Centre here on Thursday.

"It is not a novel that wants to be an essay, it is not a novel that wants to be a film, All it wants to be is a novel. I wanted to write something about the air we breathe and the air we breathe has caste, gender, Kashmir, love, animal and cities and everything. The book reflects so," the writer said.

"When I started writing God of Small Things, somewhere in my mind I had set up it as stubbornly visual. It is very visual but I don't think it will either make a great film," she said.

"A lot of Hollywood film-makers wanted to buy the rights of the book. My agents back there would say 'Look Arundhati, they are willing to give you anything you want, but I would say no'," she noted.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness failed to make the shortlist of six books for The Man Booker Prize (Fiction) 2017.

Her novel was considered among the top competitors in the race and was earlier described as a "significant" work of fiction. Widely hailed by international critics, Roy's novel was thought to be a sure-name in the shortlist. Roy was due to appear as a speaker at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair but has reportedly pulled out.

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Read more:

Why it took 20 years for Booker Prize winning author Arundhati Roy to release her second novel

US author George Saunders wins 2017 Man Booker Prize

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