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Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy, Buy One Get One Free – An Hour With Arundhati Roy

October 24, 2003

We spend the hour hearing a speech by award-winning author Arundhati Roy addressing a packed audience at Riverside Church in Harlem as "a slave who presumes to criticize her king."

Click here to read to full transcript Today we spend the hour with famed Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy.

Roy was born in Shillong, India in 1959. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives, and has worked as a film designer, actor, and screenplay writer in India. Her first novel, The God of Small Things, won the 1997 Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. It has sold six million copies and has been translated into over 20 languages worldwide.

She has also written three non-fiction books: The Cost of Living, Power Politics and her newest book War Talk, a collection of essays analyzing issues of war and peace, democracy and dissent, racism and empire.

Soon after the war in Iraq was officially declared over, Arundhati Roy addressed a packed audience at the Riverside Church in Harlem, New York on May 13th, 2003 as "a slave who presumes to criticize her king."

She spoke out against the invasion and occupation of Iraq, from the same pulpit where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke out against the invasion of Vietnam over three decades ago.

Arundhati Roy named the speech, "Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy, Buy One Get One Free." The speech was sponsored by the Center for Economic and Social Rights and the Lannan Foundation where she received the 2002 Prize for Cultural Freedom.

  • Arundhati Roy, acclaimed Indian author and activist, speaking at Riverside Church in Harlem on May 13, 2003. Roy won the Booker Prize for her first book, the novel The God of Small Things. She is also the author of Power Politics and War Talk.