Roy became well-known for this novel, since it won
the Booker Prize, England's best award, but since then she's stuck to
nonfiction and has become perhaps India's most famous activist in the
eyes of the rest of the world. I had read several of her thin nonfiction
works, which criticize India's caste system, the racist policies of its
government, the damage to local communities from huge dam projects in
India, as well as her complaints about the United States and its actions
abroad. She is always well spoken and inspiring.
It is easy to see why this novel was so successful.
It is semi-autobiographical, at least in the sense of growing up as an
outsider in an Indian village. Her language is incredibly unique and
creative, and she conveys the logic of childhood flawlessly. But a warning:
this is also one of the saddest novels I've ever experienced.