Suzanna Arundhati Roy (born 24 November 1961) is an Indian author and political activist who is best known for the 1998 Man Booker Prize for Fiction winning novel The God of Small Things (1997) and for her involvement in environmental and human rights causes.
1. To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.
2. I do what I do, and write what I write, without calculating what is worth what and so on. Fortunately, I am not a banker or an accountant. I feel that there is a time when a political statement needs to be made and I make it.
3. Torture has been privatized now, so you have obviously the whole scandal in America about the abuse of prisoners and the fact that, army people might be made to pay a price, but who are the privatized torturers accountable to?
4. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
5. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.
6. The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.
7. The American way of life is not sustainable. It doesn’t acknowledge that there is a world beyond America.
8. The [Booker] prize was actually responsible in many ways for my political activism. I won this thing and I was suddenly the darling of the new emerging Indian middle class – they needed a princess. They had the wrong woman. I had this light shining on me at the time, and I knew that I had the stage to say something about what was happening in my country. What is exciting about what I have done since is that writing has become a weapon, some kind of ammunition.
9. Smells, like music, hold memories.
10. I’m trained as an architect; writing is like architecture. In buildings, there are design motifs that occur again and again, that repeat — patterns, curves. These motifs help us feel comfortable in a physical space. And the same works in writing, I’ve found. For me, the way words, punctuation and paragraphs fall on the page is important as well — the graphic design of the language.