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Arundhati Roy

The Chequebook and the Cruise Missile

The Chequebook and the Cruise Missile

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As a novelist, Arundhati Roy is known for her lush language and intricate structure. As a political essayist, her prose is searching and fierce.

All of these qualities shine through in the interviews collected by David Barsamian for The Chequebook and the Cruise Missile, recorded between 2001 and 2003.

Whether discussing her childhood or the problems of translation in a multilingual society, Roy and Barsamian, the producer and host of Alternative Radio, engage in a lively and accessible manner.

Speaking candidly and casually, Roy describes her participation in a demonstration against the Indian dam program as "absolutely fantastic". She jokes that her Supreme Court charge for "corrupting public morality" -- in the case of her novel The God of Small Things -- should have been changed to "further corrupting public morality."

She calls on her training as an architect to explain what she means by the "physics of power". Like a house of cards, she argues that "unfettered power cannot go berserk like this and expect to hold it all together."

The Chequebook and the Cruise Missile captures Roy speaking one-on-one to her audience, revealing her intense and wide-ranging intellect, her very personal voice, and her opinion on momentous political events. 

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