THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS
It’s the book we have been waiting for: Arundhati Roy’s second novel, arriving 20 years after her Booker-winning The God of Small Things, exploring class, caste and family secrets in Roy’s home-state of Kerala. Her canvas is broader this time, sweeping from a transgender community founded in a Delhi graveyard by a hijra (someone born with both male and female sex organs), to the fighting fields of Kashmir, where three friends get caught up in the independence struggle. She still writes like an angel and manages to tie her two stories together – one a human tale of outsiders striving to build their own form of family, the other focusing more on India’s political failures. Yet all are struggling to achieve the “utmost happiness”.