My Seditious Heart
Twenty years, a thousand pages, and now a single beautiful edition of Arundhati Roy's complete nonfiction.
Bookended by her two extraordinary novels, The God of Small Things (1997) and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017), My Seditious Heart collects the work of a two-decade period when Arundhati Roy devoted herself to the political essay as a way of opening up space for justice, rights, and freedoms in an increasingly hostile environment.
Radical and superbly readable, the essays speak in a voice of unique spirit, marked by compassion, clarity, and courage. Roy offers a powerful defense of the collective, of the individual, and of the land, in the face of the destructive logic of financial, social, religious, military, and governmental elites.
In constant conversation with the themes and settings of her novels, the essays form a near-unbroken memoir of Arundhati Roy's journey as both a writer and a citizen, of both India and the world, from "The End of Imagination," which begins this book, to "My Seditious Heart," with which it ends.
Arundhati Roy studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She is the author of the novels The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
"The world has never had to face such global confusion. Only in facing it can we make sense of what we have to do. And this is precisely what Arundhati Roy does. She makes sense of what we have to do. Thereby offering an example. An example of what? Of being fully alive in our world, such as it is, and of getting close to and listening to those for whom this world has become intolerable."
—John Berger"Arundhati Roy is one of the most confident and original thinkers of our time."
"Arundhati Roy calls for ‘factual precision’ alongside of the ‘real precision of poetry.’ Remarkably, she combines those achievements to a degree that few can hope to approach."
—Noam Chomsky"Arundhati Roy combines her brilliant style as a novelist with her powerful commitment to social justice in producing these eloquent, penetrating essays."
—Howard Zinn"Arundhati Roy is one of the few great revolutionary intellectuals in our time ... courageous, visionary, and erudite."
—Cornel West"Arundhati Roy is incandescent in her brilliance and her fearlessness. And in these extraordinary essays—which are clarions for justice, for witness, for a true humanity—Roy is at her absolute best."
—Junot Díaz"Her incomparable divining rod picks up the cries of the despised and the oppressed in the most remote corners of the globe; it even picks up the cries of rivers and fish. With an unfailing charm and wit that makes her writing constantly enlivening to read, her analysis of our grotesque world is savagely clear, and yet her anger never obscures her awareness that beauty, joy, and pleasure can potentially be part of the life of human beings."
—Wallace Shawn"[Roy is] an electrifying political essayist. . . . So fluent is her prose, so keen her understanding of global politics, and so resonant her objections to nuclear weapons ... that her essays are as uplifting as they are galvanizing."
—Booklist"The scale of what Roy surveys is staggering. Her pointed indictment is devastating."
—New York Times Book Review