It’s not quite Chinese Democracy, but the question of whether Arundhati Roy would ever write a follow-up to her Man Booker Prize-winning 1997 novel The God of Small Things is one that’s been occupying fans for the best part of two decades now. Writers aren’t exactly like musicians, in fairness, and it’s not like Roy’s been sitting idle — she’s written plenty for the screen, her original occupation before The God of Small Things made her a world-famous novelist, along with five volumes’ worth of essays. But still, fans have been waiting patiently for another novel, and it appears that their patience has finally been rewarded.
Roy’s publisher, Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton, announced today that the new novel, entitled The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, will be published next year. The Guardian quotes her literary agent David Godwin, who describes the book as “Utterly original. It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait.” The book’s publishers also waxes lyrical about it, as one might expect — Hamish Hamilton’s Simon Prosser and Meru Gokhale of Penguin Random House India issued a joint statement, describing The Ministry of Utmost Happiness as “one of the finest we have read in recent times, …an incredible book … on multiple levels.” Huzzah.