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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

作者 : Arundhati Roy

出版社 : Hamish Hamilton

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定價 : NT 499

售價 : NT499

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1997年英國曼布克獎得主《微物之神》作者,睽違二十年最新小說作品!

一趟深入印度次大陸的旅程,從德里擁擠的社區、發展快速的新興都會裡閃耀的購物商場、到覆蓋著白雪的山脈與山谷的喀什米爾……

Anjum是雙性人,被視為男孩撫養長大。她為了擁抱女性的身份,離開童年的家,遷入印度稱之為「海吉拉」(hijra)的跨性別人士或變性者聚居的地方。然而,她不久後便離開該處,轉而住進埋葬著她家人遺骨的公墓。她以墓地為家,攤開破舊的波斯地毯,就是她的棲身之處。這新的落腳地成了矛盾的生死之地──它代表死亡,卻也成了庇護受過傷害、怪異以及社會邊緣人的正向之地。另一方面,名為Tilo的女子有三名愛慕者,但她愛的只有一位:神秘的喀什米爾異議分子Musa Yeswi,她因此被捲入獨立運動。當一名被遺棄的女嬰出現,Anjum和Tilo都想將她占為己有,所有人的人生產生交集……

作者筆下脆弱而殘破的人們,在傷害他們的世界中找到愛與希望,從不曾放棄、不曾投降,本書始於死亡、終於死亡,跨越種族、宗教與性別的界線,不斷尋求安全的棲身之所,尋找愛、意義與快樂。

阿蘭達蒂.洛伊融入這些年來從事社會運動的背景,讓筆下角色與印度的社會與政治緊張情勢產生連結,尤為對喀什米爾地區長年來爭取自治的暴力報復行動。阿蘭達蒂.洛伊睽違多年終於出版第二部長篇小說,在這二十年間,她以知識份子與異議人士的身份活躍於印度文學界與政治界,也撰寫時事評論與報導,關注人權、資本主義與環境保護等等議題。

A richly moving new novel-the first since the author's Booker-Prize winning, internationally celebrated debut, The God of Small Things, went on to become a beloved best seller and enduring classic.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness transports us across a subcontinent on a journey of many years. It takes us deep into the lives of its gloriously rendered characters, each of them in search of a place of safety- in search of meaning, and of love.

In a graveyard outside the walls of Old Delhi, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby suddenly appears, just after midnight. In a snowy valley, a bereaved father writes a letter to his five-year-old daughter about the peoplewho came to her funeral. In a second-floor apartment, a lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. At the Jannat Guest House, two people who have known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around each other, as though they have just met.

A braided narrative of astonishing force and originality, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once a love story and a provocation-a novel as inventive as it is emotionally engaging. It is told with a whisper, in a shout, through joyous tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Its heroes, both present and departed, have been broken by the world we live in-and then mended by love. For this reason, they will never surrender.

How to tell a shattered story?
By slowly becoming everybody.
No.
By slowly becoming everything.

Humane and sensuous, beautifully told, this extraordinary novel demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy's storytelling gifts.
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