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    Distributor: Penguin Random House Availability: Available On Sale Date: Jun 06, 2017 Carton Quantity: 12
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
A novel
By (author): Arundhati Roy
9780735234345 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Jun 06, 2017
$35.00 CAD
Active 6.01 x 8.56 x 1.36 in 464 pages Penguin Canada Hamish Hamilton
Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2017, Long-listed
A richly moving new novel—the first since the author’s Booker Prize-winning, internationally celebrated debut, The God of Small Things, went on to become a beloved best seller and enduring classic.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness transports us across a subcontinent on a journey of many years. It takes us deep into the lives of its gloriously rendered characters, each of them in search of a place of safety—in search of meaning, and of love.

In a graveyard outside the walls of Old Delhi, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby suddenly appears, just after midnight. In a snowy valley, a bereaved father writes a letter to his five-year-old daughter about the people who came to her funeral. In a second-floor apartment, a lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. At the Jannat Guest House, two people who have known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around each other, as though they have just met.

A braided narrative of astonishing force and originality, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once a love story and a provocation—a novel as inventive as it is emotionally engaging. It is told with a whisper, in a shout, through joyous tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Its heroes, both present and departed, have been broken by the world we live in—and then mended by love. For this reason, they will never surrender.

How to tell a shattered story?

By slowly becoming everybody.


By slowly becoming everything.

Humane and sensuous, beautifully told, this extraordinary novel demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.

Story Locale: Mumbai, India

ARUNDHATI ROY is the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things. Her political writings include The Algebra of Infinite Justice, Listening to Grasshoppers, Broken Republic, Capitalism: A Ghost Story, and most recently, Things That Can and Cannot Be Said, co-authored with John Cusack. Roy lives in New Delhi and her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, will be published by Hamish Hamilton in June 2017.

Author Residence: New Delhi, India

Marketing: Galleys

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Publicity: Author Tour

Major National Media Attention


Extensive Review Coverage

One of The Globe and Mail's 100 Best Books of 2017

A Financial Times Best Books of 2017 for Fiction

A Chatelaine 20 Best Books of 2017 selection

A Now Toronto 10 Best Books of 2017 selection

A Economic Times top-selling books of 2017 selection

A National Post Best Books of the Year selection

“Truly, this is a remarkable creation, a story both intimate and international, swelling with comedy and outrage, a tale that cradles the world’s most fragile people even while it assaults the Subcontinent’s most brutal villains.” —Ron Charles, Washington Post

“The first novel in 20 years from Roy, and worth the wait: a humane, engaged near fairy tale that soon turns dark—full of characters and their meetings, accidental and orchestrated alike to find, yes, that utmost happiness of which the title speaks.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Ambitious, original, and haunting . . . a novel [that] fuses tenderness and brutality, mythic resonance and the stuff of headlines . . .essential to Roy’s vision of a bewilderingly beautiful, contradictory, and broken world.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A masterpiece…Roy joins Dickens, Naipaul, García Márquez, and Rushdie in her abiding compassion, storytelling magic, and piquant wit…. A tale of suffering, sacrifice and transcendence—an entrancing, imaginative, and wrenching epic.” —Booklist

"With its insights into human nature, its memorable characters and its luscious prose, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is well worth the 20-year wait.” —Time

“To say this book is ‘highly anticipated’ is a bit of an understatement. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness will be a welcome gift for those who’ve missed Roy’s dazzling fiction.” —Cosmopolitan’s 11 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This Summer

“It’s finally here! Fans of The God of Small Things have been waiting for Roy’s next novel, and it doesn’t disappoint. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is big, both in physical heft and in ideas. It features an unforgettable cast of characters from across India whose stories are told with generosity and compassion.” —Vulture Summer Books Preview

“A novel that takes its readers into the abyss of poverty and patriarchy, thereby narrating the sordid uses of power and the agony it unleashes. . .it is an inward contemplation of a master storyteller on the times and surroundings she is living in.” —The Times of India

“This intricately layered and passionate novel, studded with jokes and with horrors, has room for satire and romance, for rage and politics and for steely understatement…[I]t is exuberant, page-turning, and sometimes even frolicsome—though a frolic that can flip abruptly into something like despair...Like Dickens, Roy can plunge us into intimacy with a character within a few pages; she can also sustain the mystery of character across the entire span of the plot…This is a work of extraordinary intricacy and grace, as well as being fuelled by savage indignation. It is also a work that feels dangerous to read, even to those far from scenes described. There is no space left for easy objectivity in this challenging novel. It gives it its cutting edge.” —Prospect

“A stunningly beautiful novel that wills another world to emerge from our collective darkness. Weaving the experiences and aspirations of India’s most marginalized peoples into perfect prose, Roy unveils complex characters possessed by a desire to invent new worlds even in dark times. In an era when the West is sensing the prescience of authoritarian rule, Roy’s novel is instructive: it illuminates the intelligent, critical, often rebellious perspectives of peoples belonging to a vast Indian underclass.” —Maclean’s

"Roy’s novel is deeply political and offers the opportunity for audiences to engage with complex history in an accessible and compelling way." —Open Canada

“The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which marked her long-awaited return to fiction. . .is a book just as good, if not better, than The God of Small Things, and that is enough reason to celebrate.” —The Express Tribune

“a magnificent, sweeping work about a divided India.” —The Straits Times

"lyrical and life-affirming." —Irish Examiner

“A story of unbinding love, mystery and thrill, uncertainty and perplexity, ambivalence and confusion that brings to life a whole lot of tales and stories from a host of origins…. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is an unforgettable tale, which touches you on many levels of mind and heart and invites you to unweave its rich texture thread by thread and share its loss, love, horror and hope.”Daily Times (Pakistan)

“[A] wonderfully woven narrative…. This is the kind of book that makes one feel that life is worth living.” —Sabiha Huq, The Daily Star

“After a 20-year-long wait, Arundhati Roy presented us with her second book, a mesmerising novel that deals with some of the most brutal atrocities of modern Indian history . . . The web of narratives that Roy has woven makes for an interesting read.”Yourstory

Praise for The God of Small Things:

"A work of highly conscious art—A Tiger Woodsian début—the author hits the long, socio-cosmic ball but is also exquisite in her short game. Like a devotionally built temple, The God of Small Things builds a massive interlocking structure of fine, intensely felt details." —John Updike, The New Yorker

"A work that is complex in structure, sophisticated in its handling of time, and bold in its themes. But perhaps what is most remarkable is Roy's deft use of language."—Maclean's

"A compelling tale of forbidden love and its catastrophic consequences, wonderfully vivid—Arundhati Roy's novel has a magic and mystery all its own." —Toronto Star

"Roy weaves her bold and startling narrative in sequences of luminously rendered scenes—remarkable." —The Globe and Mail


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