A Ghost Story

From the poisoned rivers, barren wells, and clear-cut forests, to the hundreds of thousands of farmers who have committed suicide to escape punishing debt, to the hundreds of millions of people who live on less than two dollars a day, there are ghosts nearly everywhere you look in India. India is a nation of 1.2 billion, but the country’s 100 richest people own assets equivalent to one-fourth of India’s gross domestic product.

Capitalism: A Ghost Story examines the dark side of democracy in contemporary India, and shows how the demands of globalized capitalism have subjugated billions of people to the highest and most intense forms of racism and exploitation.

About the author

Arundhati Roy studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into forty languages worldwide. She has written several non-fiction books, including Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers and Capitalism: A Ghost Story, published by Haymarket Books.


April 9, 2014 interview on Democracy Now!:

March 26, 2014 talk at The New School in New York City:


"A Communist Manifesto for 21st-century anti-capitalists."
Scotland Sunday Herald

"Capitalism feels like straight reportage from the front lines of a war. In every part of the world, the rich few keep getting richer on the backs of a population that continues to work harder and grow poorer for it. And Roy keeps sending these furious, intelligent bulletins to alert us to what's going on. More people than ever are listening to her."
The Stranger Starred Review

"Capitalism: a Ghost Story [is] a highly readable and characteristically trenchant mapping of early 21st century India’s impassioned love affair with money, technology, weaponry and the "Privatization of Everything," and—because these must not be impeded no matter what—generous doses of state violence."
The Nation

"Roy portrays the present moment—not only in India but also worldwide—as one in which the radical imagination has been strangled by corporate globalization’s enormous toll on human lives and ecologies, but this accrual of ghosts also begets an occasion for resistance."
Guernica Editor's Pick

"Courageous and clarion Roy continues her analysis and documentation of the disastrous consequences of unchecked global capitalism."

"Roy offer[s] a timely reminder in the first year of the Modi administration that intensified contradiction—the 100 richest Indians own assets amounting to a quarter of the country’s GDP, while the average citizen lives on less than 50 cents a day—has in fact been the enabling condition of the rhetorical declaration of India’s emergence onto the world stage."
Public Books

"Arundhati Roy, in her profound book, Capitalism: A Ghost Story, makes it clear that economic growth often concentrates at the top, and results in misery at the bottom, using her home country of India as a case study."
The Daily Beast

"As well as being a finely layered denunciation of capitalism and power in India, these essays also contain vignettes from the struggles of these poorest people. Arundhati Roy’s brilliance as a political essayist lies not just in the precision and elegance of her style and wit, or her analytical clarity, alongside much else, but in the sense that the writing itself is an active part of the struggles and movements she reports. This is a short but excellent collection, and it can be hoped that it will be read widely."