Anuradha Roy (born 1967) is an Indian novelist, journalist and editor. She has written five novels which include, An Atlas of Impossible Longing (2008), The Folded Earth (2011), Sleeping on Jupiter (2015), All the Lives We Never Lived (2018), and The Earthspinner (2021).
Anuradha Roy was born in 1967 (age 56 in 2023) in Kolkata and grew up mainly in Hyderabad, India. She studied Literature at Presidency College, Kolkata and at New Hall (now Murray Edwards College), Cambridge University, UK. She returned to take care of her mother for a while and moved north to Delhi and got a job with Oxford University Press. Currently, Anuradha Roy and her husband live in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand with their dogs.
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
The names of her parents and siblings are not known. Her father was a geologist. When she was seven years old, her father had a first heart attack and he died when she was nineteen. Anuradha Roy is the younger of two children.
Husband & Children
In Delhi, she met Rukun Advani, a novelist and editor. They worked together for three years at Oxford University Press, until Rukun Advani was offered a writing residency in Scotland. Thus, Anuradha Roy married Rukun Advani. She has three dogs as well. She does not have children.
Her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, was voted Book of the Year in a number of places, including the Washington Post, Seattle Times, and Huffington Post. She was a Resident at the Maison des Écrivains Étrangers et des Traducteurs (the Foreign Writers and Translators House) at St-Nazaire, France, in 2022 and has been a visiting speaker at Cornell and Cordoba Universities. She has appeared at literary events all over the world, and on the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other television and radio channels. Advani and Roy founded Permanent Black, a publishing company focusing on academic literature, in 2000, where she is a graphic designer. The essays and reviews written by Anuradha Roy have appeared in several newspapers and magazines in India like Indian Express, Telegraph, and The Hindu. The US magazines and newspapers like Orion and Noema published her essays as well. In Britain, the Guardian, The Economist, and most recently in John Freeman, Tales of Two Planets published her works.
- An Atlas of Impossible Longing (2008)
- The Folded Earth (2011)
- Sleeping on Jupiter (2015)
- All the Lives We Never Lived (2018)
- The Earthspinner (2021)
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- In 2004, Anuradha Roy won the first prize for Cooking Women in The Outlook/Picador India Non-Fiction Competition.
- In 2011, the book The Folded Earth was shortlisted for The Hindu Literary Prize and In 2011 it was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. In 2011, The Folded Earth, her second novel, won the Economist Crossword Prize.
- Sleeping on Jupiter, her third novel won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2016 and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015.
- Her fourth novel, All the Lives We Never Lived, won the Tata Book of the Year Award for Fiction 2018. It was longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2018. In 2019, it was shortlisted for The Hindu Literary Prize. It was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2020. In December 2022 it won India’s most prestigious literary prize, the Sahitya Akademi Award.
- In 2020, Anuradha was conferred the Nilimarani Sahitya Samman for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Literature.
- The Earthspinner won the Sushila Devi Book Award in 2022 for the best novel written by a woman writer in India. It was shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize and the Tata Book of the Year Award for Fiction in 2022.
- Her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, was translated into sixteen different languages.
- In the summer of 2023, she planned to visit the writer at the Oxbelly Writer’s Retreat in Messinia, Greece, and in autumn, she plans to be at the Hawthornden Foundation’s Casa Ecco in Lake Como, Italy as a writing fellow.
- In an interview, when asked about the current political situation in India and in response to a high-level campaign to absolve eight men of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl, Anuradha Roy stated,
Inequality here has never been more catastrophic, but I think the very people the rightwing are trying to crush into nothingness are the unstoppable forces now – women and Dalits, people from the lower castes – battered but undefeated. In the past 70 years there has been such profound social change that there is no going back to the dark ages the right is trying to return us to. If I did not believe that, it would be hard to live.”
- Anuradha Roy and her husband named their academic publishing company, Permanent Black, after the ink pens they both liked to use.
- Anuradha Roy’s hobby includes pottery. She takes time to enjoy her hobby. Her second cottage is dedicated to her pottery. S he drinks her morning coffee from a pot she’s made herself. She doesn’t sell her pottery works, as she believes,
because if it’s beautiful I wouldn’t want to part with it and if it’s ugly nobody would want to buy it”
In her book All The Lives We Never Lived, she mentioned the importance of hobbies and said,
Everyone needs hobbies. Especially women, who are so bound up in the home.”