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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: December 2004

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire
By Arundhati Roy
Published by South End Press

Review by Carol Colin

I had never heard of Arundhati Roy before she was interviewed for the L.A. Weekly, February 21-27, 2003, just weeks prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In that article, "Happiness Is A Weapon", Roy spoke about the role of the artist as activist, about being torn between retreating to write her next novel or being out in the streets protesting injustice in her native India. She proposed an appealingly idealistic response to tyranny, a vision of everyone doing what they do best, refusing to fear, refusing to go along with the corporate plan, a vision of the world somehow responding in kind with the peace reasonable people seek.

An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire, Roy's third collection of essays, restates this call for peace and justice and goes further, building an eloquent case for practical idealism in a world gone mad. Her written voice has the urgency and informality of the impassioned conversations many of us have been having with friends and neighbors for the past several years. But while our conversations often bog down in despair these days, Roy's message is direct, uncompromising and inspiring. Her perspective is unfamiliar to most of us, and her litany of the daily terrors rampant now in India, a so-called democracy and one of our "natural allies", drives home a loud, clear warning of where the U.S. could be headed. [more]

Posted by Carol Colin @ 05:16 PM PST [Link]

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