The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - A Novel by Arundhati Roy
General Observations about the Novel - 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a curious beast: baggy, bewilderingly overpopulated with characters, frequently achronological, written in an often careless and haphazard style and yet capable of breathtakingly composed and powerful interludes. The idea that the personal is political and vice versa informs its every sentence, but it also interrogates that assumption, examining its contours and consequences (Alex Clark, The Guardian).
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey 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. Braiding together the lives of a diverse cast of characters who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love—and by hope, here Arundhati Roy reinvents what a novel can do and can be (Penguin Random House).
Is novel the right word, though? I hesitate. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, hulking, sprawling story that it is, has two main strands. One follows Anjum, a hijra, or transwoman, struggling to make a life for herself in Delhi. The other follows Tilo, a thorny and irresistible architect turned activist (who seems to be modeled on Roy herself), and the three men who fall in love with her (Parul Sehgal, The Atlantic).
About the Characters and Summary of the novel 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'
Part 1 | Khwabgah Part 2 | Jantar Mantar Part 3 | Kashmir and Dandakaranyak Part 4 | Udaya Jebeen & Dung Beetle
Thematic Study of 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'
Symbols and Motifs in 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'
Check your understanding of the novel - Click here to open online test on 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'
Additional Reading Resources:
- Arundhati Roy's Fascinating Mess
- Political Overtones and Allusions in Arundhati Roy's The Ministry
- The Poetic Realism of Arundhati Roy in The Ministry
- Outside Language and Power: The Mastery of A. Roy's The Ministry
- Political and Gender Issues in Arundhati Roy's The Ministry
- Ecofeminist Study of 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'
- Environmental Concerns in 'The Ministry'