Arundhati Roy’s Freedom to Write Speech, 2019

By |May 14th, 2019|Country: , |

Fearless writer talks about finding shelter from the tyranny in literature

I IS FOR INDIA and K IS FOR KASHMIR

I consider Arundhati Roy to be one of the best writers in the world. Not just because she is a brilliant author, and she is, truly. But also because she is curious, political, unapologetic and honest. I was privileged to listen to Roy give her Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture at PEN World Voices festival at the legendary Apollo theatre—and it filled my heart to the brim. Not just with love and respect: undiluted these emotions would be too small for an event that Arundhati Roy is. Rather, with a shared anxiety, determination and daring.

Roy talked about climate change, the Indian election and Modi, the caste system and the ubiquitousness of xenophobia, and, of course, Kashmir. She cited James Baldwin, to fully close the circle in Harlem. And she talked of how as an author you don’t only shelter your vulnerable characters, you allow them to shelter you “from the tyranny of hard borders in this increasingly hardening world.” You can and should read her speech on the Guardian website.

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