An Activist Returns to the Novel
This is a good article about Arundhati Roy’s literary and political thoughts. Of note:
Sitting in her Delhi rooftop flat, whose dark tiled and light wood-lined interior the former architecture student designed, Roy says she has already begun writing the new novel but has no idea when it will be finished. The whisper was that it would be about Kashmir, the revolt-scarred Himalayan state, but Roy shakes her head sending ripples through her grey-flecked curls. “It is not true. My fiction is never about an issue. I don’t set myself some political task and weave a story around it. I might as well write a straightforward nonfiction piece if that is what I wanted to do.”
Of course, some novelists and other artists do create both accomplished and effective works that “set…some political task and weave a story around it” — e.g., Jonathan Swift in A Modest Proposal, etc, and Victor Hugo in Les Miserables.
Doing so may simply not be Roy’s talent or interest. But obviously it has been and continues to be well done — in myriad ways that function as “intervention,” to use Roy’s word.