Arudhati Roy Wins PEN Pinter Prize

Arundhati Roy has won the 2024 PEN Pinter Prize, an award for writers who, like Harold Pinter, show outstanding literary talent and a commitment to truth.

In spite of being persecuted in India for speaking and writing her truth, Roy’s powerful writing and bold critiques of social and political issues make her a deserving winner.

The Jury calls her a luminous vice for freedom and justice. “Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds,” says Roy

Arundhati Roy was born in ShillongMeghalaya, India, to Mary Roy, a Malayali Jacobite Syrian Christian women’s rights activist from Kerala and Rajib Roy, a Bengali Brahmo Samaji tea plantation manager from Kolkata. She has denied false rumors about her being a Brahmin by caste. When she was two years old, her parents divorced and she returned to Kerala with her mother and brother. For some time, the family lived with Roy’s maternal grandfather in OotyTamil Nadu. When she was five, the family moved back to Kerala, where her mother started a school.

Roy attended school at Corpus ChristiKottayam, followed by the Lawrence School, Lovedale, in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. She then studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, where she met architect Gerard da Cunha. They married in 1978 and lived together in Delhi, and then Goa, before they separated and divorced in 1982.

Roy returned to Delhi, where she obtained a position with the National Institute of Urban Affairs. In 1984, she met independent filmmaker Pradip Krishen, who offered her a role as a goatherd in his award-winning movie Massey Sahib. They married the same year. They collaborated on a television series about India’s independence movement and two films, Annie and Electric Moon.[10] Disenchanted with the film world, Roy experimented with various fields, including running aerobics classes. Roy and Krishen currently live separately but are still married. She became financially secure with the success of her novel The God of Small Things, published in 1997 which for which she won the prestigious Booker Prise.

Roy is a cousin of prominent media personality Prannoy Roy, former head of the Indian television media group NDTV.[4] She lives in Delhi.