An Ordinary Person’s Guide…

There are precious few authors who fall into the category of life-changing. Arundhati Roy should be in that class. Her work is a process of beautiful discovery. She is an acclaimed author, and rightly so.


Her amazing fictional work, The God of Small Things, is widely noted for being brilliant. It is. It even won the Booker prize.  Read it.


What I want to get you hip to, dear Eleventh Stack blog reader, is her short volume of essays, articles and talks called An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire.

This book may seem slightly dated in that it deals with the lead up to and beginning of the Iraq war, but the concepts that Roy deals with are not limited to any specific time or place. Her discussion of political situations in India is as riveting and important as her discussion and critique of the US and the UK. Her wit is sharp. Her style is terse, but highly readable. She can at once be harsh, yet approachable and informative.

It may seem hyperbolic, but I honestly believe that everyone should read this book. Why? If you’ve ever found yourself asking “why do so many people in the world feel the way that they do about the United States?” this book will give you some perspective on the matter.



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5 responses to “An Ordinary Person’s Guide…

  1. Arundhati Roy is a goddess of words.
    It’s so good to see reviews of her work.

  2. Well the God of Small Things was certainly worth a read. If I had seen this one on a book table would have picked it up also. Though I can give you lots of answers to that question (some of them not entirely logical) without reading An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, I hereby resolve to give it a try.

  3. Reblogged this on shafiqah1 and commented:
    This is one of my favorite books EVER as well! <3

  4. God of Small Things is an absolute favorite, one of those life-changing books where I can remember clearly where I was and what was going on in my life when I finished it.

    I missed the nonfiction collection, however, so thanks a million for the recommendation, Eric!

  5. Ric

    With Kashmir in crisis again, the talk that Arundhati Roy gave in Srinagar in 2010 is worth a read. She says:
    ” I keep saying in India that I believe in the biodiversity of resistance… I want to say that here that resistance is a beautiful thing. But it has many meanings and many facets. You know what constitutes resistance is not just one thing. Just like you cannot call a group of trees that is just one kind of tree a forest. A forest has biodiversity and that’s what makes it strong. It cannot just get wiped out by one kind of thing. In that way in India there is a biodiversity of resistance of standing up to the state, you know.”

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