- Arundhati Royacclaimed 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.
- Howard Zinnhistorian and author of many books including A People’s History of the United States.
We turn now to a conversation between two of the most pre-eminent social critics of our time.
One of them 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 prestigious Booker Prize.
The other was born in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York to two Jewish immigrants who worked in factories. He grew up in slums there, worked in a shipyard, and was a bombardier in World War II. In 1960, he decided to try to write a new kind of history of the United States, a view from the ground up, from the people who built this country, the workers, the immigrants, the slaves. He spent the next two decades researching and writing. In 1980 he published his history and beyond all expectations, it became a best seller. A little while ago, he sold the millionth copy that history book.
I am talking about Arundhati Roy, and Howard Zinn.
A couple of weeks go, Arundhati Roy and Howard Zinn had a conversation in front of thousands, in Riverside Church in Harlem. The event was sponsored by the Center for Economic and Social Rights, and the Lannan Foundation.
This is what they had to say to each other.