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Azadi
Freedom. Fascism. Fiction.

From the best-selling author of My Seditious Heart and the Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a new and pressing dispatch from the heart of the crowd and the solitude of the writer's desk. 

The chant of "Azadi!"—Urdu for "Freedom!"—is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions on the streets of India against the project of Hindu Nationalism.

Even as Arundhati Roy began to ask what lay between these two calls for Freedom—a chasm or a bridge?—the streets fell silent. Not only in India, but all over the world. The coronavirus brought with it another, more terrible understanding of Azadi, making a nonsense of international borders, incarcerating whole populations, and bringing the modern world to a halt like nothing else ever could.

In this series of electrifying essays, Arundhati Roy challenges us to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism.

The essays include meditations on language, public as well as private, and on the role of fiction and alternative imaginations in these disturbing times.

The pandemic, she says, is a portal between one world and another. For all the illness and devastation it has left in its wake, it is an invitation to the human race, an opportunity, to imagine another world.

Reviews
  • "Arundhati Roy is one of the most confident and original thinkers of our time."
    —Naomi Klein

    "Roy’s ... nonfictional engagement with the conflicts and traumas of a heedlessly globalized world has manifested the virtues of an unflinching emotional as well as political intelligence.... In an age of intellectual logrolling and mass-manufactured infotainment, she continues to offer bracing ways of seeing, thinking and feeling."
    —Pankaj Mishra

    "No writer today, in India or anywhere in the world, writes with the kind of beautiful, piercing prose in defense of the wretched of the earth that Roy does.... Roy the essayist embodies the legalistic but humanistic ruthlessness of a public defender, the wit and wordplay of a poet, a comrade who takes no injustice as a given."
    —Jacobin
     

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Other books by Arundhati Roy

  • The End of Imagination

    Brings together five of Arundhati Roy's acclaimed books of essays into one comprehensive volume for the first time.
  • My Seditious Heart

    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 'Azadi', with which it ends.

  • The Doctor and the Saint

    Arundhati Roy examines the persistent inequality in India through an extensive critique of Gandhi's views on race, caste and imperialism.
  • Things that Can and Cannot Be Said

    In this rich dialogue on surveillance, empire, and power, Roy and Cusack describe meeting NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden in Moscow.
  • Field Notes on Democracy

    This paperback edition features a new introduction discussing the election of India’s new prime minister Narendra Modi.
  • Capitalism

    With anger and compassion, Roy exposes the sordid underbelly and dark inhumanity of capitalism in India and around the globe.