Nakul Krishna

Other People’s Pain

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

By

Hamish Hamilton 445pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Arundhati Roy’s new novel follows a motley crew of disparate characters who find themselves thrown together in a kind of accidental family, squatting in an illegal construction on a Delhi graveyard. The novel is messy, a little prolix and occasionally puzzling, but its last pages offer a key to it. It appears in a poem by one of its characters, Tilottama, which, without its line breaks, reads, ‘How to tell a shattered story? By slowly becoming everybody. No. By slowly becoming everything.’

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