Thursday, May 1, 2008

I want to be known as a writer: Arundhati Roy

Zafri Mudasser Nofil New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI)

Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy says she is not comfortable with the activist tag and wants to be identified as a writer only.

"I am a writer and want to be identified as a writer only," she says.

"One should not define me as an activist. I am not an activist," she told PTI at the release of her book "The Shape of the Beast", a collection of 14 interviews conducted by her between January 2001 and March 2008.

Roy been vocal on several issues like the Narmada Bachao Andolan, India's nuclear policy, US policies and the Gujarat riots.

In "The Shape of the Beast" through the conversations, Arundhati talks about the necessity of taking a stand, as also the dilemma of guarding the private space necessary for writing in a world that demands urgent and equivocal intervention.

"A writer hones his or her language, makes it clear and private and individual as possible. And then you look around and see whats happening to millions of people. You find yourself in the heart of the crowd, saying things that millions of people are saying and it's not private and individual any more," says Arundhati, who won the Booker in 1997 for her first novel 'The God of Small Things.' "How do you hold these two things down? These are very fundamental questions. This is why so many writers are frightened of political engagements. They feel it is a risk, and it is a risk, and yet I would rather do it than not."


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