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Arundhati Roy receives the prestigious Prix Européen De L’essai for Lifetime Achievement

Penguin announces an exclusive box set with new editions of her books to mark the occasion. 


Critically acclaimed and bestselling author Arundhati Roy has been awarded the 45th Prix Européen de l’Essai for Lifetime Achievement. The European Essay Prize is the first literary award dedicated solely to the genre of the essay. This is the first time an Indian author has been honoured with this distinction. Commenting on Roy’s body of work, the Charles Veillon Foundation, which is the instituting body that confers this prestigious award, said in a statement, ‘Arundhati Roy uses the essay as a form of combat.’ The award recognizes Arundhati Roy’s remarkable contributions to literature and intellectual thought, and her enduring commitment to raising essential questions about current societies, their practices and ideologies.  

Penguin is celebrating this wonderful occasion with the launch of a special edition box set of selected nonfiction by the author. This box set is now available for preorder on all major bookselling websites in the country.  

Arundhati Roy is renowned for her thought-provoking essays and her all-time bestselling novel The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize in 1997, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2017. Her writing continues to inspire generations of readers to engage with complex social issues, making her an iconic figure in the Indian literary landscape.  

Penguin’s special edition box set comprises some of her finest nonfiction over the years, including The Shape of the Beast, The Doctor and the Saint, Broken Republic, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, The Algebra of Infinite Justice and Listening to Grasshoppers. Readers can now prepare to take a deep dive into Roy’s books in these new collector’s editions. These new covers pay tribute to her profound impact on global literature and her dedication to creating meaningful change through her words.  

Arundhati Roy says, ‘It would be presumptuous, arrogant, and even a little stupid of a writer to believe that she could change the world with her writing. But it would be pitiful if she didn’t even try.’ 

Manasi Subramaniam, Editor-in-Chief, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘In her powerful essays, Arundhati Roy invites us to contemplate the very essence of freedom. Her writing is indispensable to anyone trying to make sense of an incomprehensible world. We at Penguin Press consider it a privilege to publish her, and we congratulate her heartily on this immense honour.’ 

Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Adult Publishing Group, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘Penguin Random House India has been the proud publisher of Arundhati Roy’s works for decades, and I am delighted that she has been awarded the Prix Européen de l’Essai for Lifetime Achievement. Her sharp and incisive writing has addressed the themes of justice, inequality, freedom, and rights of people in the present times, and continues to be moving and compelling’. 


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