Twenty years after her debut novel, The God Of Small Things, earned her the 1997 Booker Prize, Arundhati Roy will publish her second novel. The Indian novelist will release The Ministry of Utmost Happiness in 2017, through Hamish Hamilton UK and Penguin India. No further details have been revealed about the plot.
"I am glad to report that the mad souls (even the wicked ones) in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness have found a way into the world," Roy said.
Roy's literary agent David Godwin added that the fans would not be disappointed with the "utterly original" novel. "Only Arundhati could have written this novel," he said. "It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait."
Although the 54-year-old literary star has published a wide range of non-fiction since winning the coveted prize, she didn't return to long-form fiction.
Back in 2011, she revealed despite encouragement from fellow writer John Berger she had been too distracted by other ventures to release a follow up.
"About a year-and-a-half ago, I was with John at his home, and he said: 'You open your computer now and you read to me whatever fiction you are writing.' He is perhaps the only person in the world that could have the guts to say that to me. And I read a bit to him and he said: 'You just go back to Delhi and you finish that book.' So I said 'OK'," Roy told the Independent in 2011. "I went back to Delhi, and in a few weeks, this note was pushed under my door: just an anonymous typewritten note asking me to visit the Maoists in the jungles of central India."
Considered a modern classic, The God Of Small Things is based on the childhood experiences of fraternal twins Rahel and Estha and follows their complex relationships as they struggle with caste, class, religion and tragedy.