The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Books review, special features and comparisons
Hardcover, 444 pages
Published: June 6th 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group
Original Title: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
ISBN: 1524733156 (ISBN13: 9781524733155)
Literary Awards: Man Booker Prize Nominee for Longlist (2017), National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Fiction (2017), Women’s Prize for Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2018), Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2017)
A dazzling, moving new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The God of Small Things
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent–from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.
It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love–and by hope.
The tale begins with Anjum–who used to be Aftab–unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her–including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo’s landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs’ Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi.
As this ravishing, deeply humane novel braids these lives together, it reinvents what a novel can do and can be. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Quotes (showing 1-30 of 173)
“The moment I saw her, a part of me walked out of my body and wrapped itself around her. And there it still remains.”
“Enemies can’t break your spirit, only friends can.”
“She knew he’d be back. No matter how elaborate its charade, she recognized loneliness when she saw it. She sensed that in some strange tangential way, he needed her shade as much as she needed his. And she had learned from experience that Need was a warehouse that could accommodate a considerable amount of cruelty.”
“Who can know from the word goodbye what kind of parting is in store for us.”
“They had always fitted together like pieces of an unsolved (and perhaps unsolvable) puzzle- the smoke of her into the solidness of him, the solitariness of her into the gathering of him, the strangeness of her into the straightforwardness of him, the insouciance of her into the restraint of him. The quietness of her into the quietness of him.”
“She wondered how to un-know certain things, certain specific things that she knew but did not wish to know”
“Even in the most uneventful of our lives, we are called upon to choose our battles…”
“Need was a warehouse that could accommodate a considerable amount of cruelty.”