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2003-05-12

Arundhati Roy on Empire, the Corporate Media, Indian Politics, Her Childhood and War

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"There are two ways that Empire spreads its tentacles–one is with cruise missiles and daisy cutters...the other is with the IMF checkbook," says the acclaimed Indian writer who joins us in our Firehouse studios.

She was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives, and has worked as a film designer, actor, and screenplay writer in India.

She is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. 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.

A year ago she was the recipient of the 2002 Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom.

We are talking of course about the acclaimed writer Arundhati Roy.

Since Sept. 11, she has emerged as one of the most eloquent critics of the Bush administration?s so-called war on terror.

Paul Hawken recently wrote in Wired Magazine, "If Roy continues to upset the globalization applecart like a Tom Paine pamphleteer, she will either be greatly honored or thrown in jail." In fact she was jailed in March 2002, when India’s Supreme Court found Roy in contempt of the court after months of attempting to silence her criticism of the government.

Well today Arundhati Roy joins us in our studios.

  • Arundhati Roy, acclaimed Indian author. She has written several books, including The God of Small Things, Power Politics, and most recently, War Talk.

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