The Ministry of Utmost Happiness:
THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT
There will be a standby line at the door
This event includes a book signing
June 20, 2017
(Doors at 6:00)
Old South Church
645 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116
SOLD OUT. View our Sold Out Event FAQ.
Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome internationally celebrated author ARUNDHATI ROY, author of the Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things, for a reading from her first novel in twenty years, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
About The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.
It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love—and by hope.
The tale begins with Anjum—who used to be Aftab—unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her—including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo’s landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs’ Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi.
As this ravishing, deeply humane novel braids these lives together, it reinvents what a novel can do and can be. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.
"The first novel in 20 years from Roy, and worth the wait: a humane, engaged near fairy tale that soon turns dark—full of characters and their meetings, accidental and orchestrated alike, in the streets, rooming houses, and business offices of Delhi . . . Roy constructs a world in which characters cross boundaries of ethnicity, religion, and gender to find, yes, that utmost happiness of which the title speaks. An assured novel borne along by a swiftly moving storyline that addresses the most profound issues with elegant humor." —Kirkus, starred review
"Ambitious, original, and haunting . . . a novel [that] fuses tenderness and brutality, mythic resonance and the stuff of headlines . . . Shifting fluidly between moods and time frames, Roy juxtaposes first-person and omniscient narration with ‘found’ documents to weave her characters’ stories with India’s tensions . . . Sweeping, intricate, and sometimes topical, the novel’s complexity feels essential to Roy’s vision of a bewilderingly beautiful, contradictory, and broken world." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
UPDATE: Tickets for this event are sold out. Please note, we are often able to accommodate additional attendees from a standby line for sold out events. View our Sold Out Event FAQ for more information.
Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.
Old South Church is located at 645 Boylston Street, on the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets, at the Copley T stop.
Old South is located at the Copley stop on the Green Line of the T. We are also a short walk from the Back Bay station on the Orange Line (from the station, walk two blocks north on Dartmouth Street). Bus routes 9, 10, 39, and 55 also stop in Copley Square. Use the MBTA’s Trip Planner for specific schedule routes and times.
From the North via I-93: Take I-93 south to Exit #26 for Storrow Drive/North Station. At the bottom of the ramp, keep left for Storrow Drive. From Storrow, take the exit for Copley Square/Back Bay. Turn right onto Beacon Street. After 4 blocks, turn left on Exeter Street. After 4 blocks, turn left on Boylston Street. Old South is at the end of the block, on the left.
From the South via I-93: Take I-93 north to Exit #18 for Mass. Ave./Roxbury. Turn left onto the Mass. Ave. Connector, then turn right (north) onto Mass. Ave. Continue on Mass. Ave. for a little over a mile, then turn right onto Boylston Street. Old South is 5 blocks down, on the left, at Boylston and Dartmouth Streets.
From the West via the Mass. Turnpike (I-90): Take the Mass. Pike east to Exit #22 for Prudential/Copley. Bear right in the exit ramp, following signs for Copley Square. Take the first left onto Dartmouth Street, and continue two blocks to Boylston Street. Old South is on the left.
From the West via Storrow Drive: Take Storrow east to the Fenway exit, following signs for Boylston Street Inbound. Once you cross Mass. Ave., Old South is 5 blocks down, on the left, at Boylston and Dartmouth Streets.
From the East via Storrow Drive: Take Storrow west to the exit for Copley Square/Back Bay. Turn right onto Beacon Street. After 4 blocks, turn left on Exeter Street. After 4 blocks, turn left on Boylston Street. Old South is at the end of the block, on the left.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.
Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:
- Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
- Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
- Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.
Ordering a signed book by phone:
- Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
- If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.
Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.
Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!
Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.
I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.
More questions? Give us a call!
Due to time constraints, the author will be signing but not personalizing books during the book signing portion of this event and will sign up to three books per attendee. No posed photographs with the author.
Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
“Up Late” Shirt Design
Now available as a hoodie! Order deadline is Nov 6th! This fundraiser supports the future of Harvard Book Store.Learn More »
Pardon the Delay!
We're experiencing an enormous and unprecedented order volume at this time (and we're grateful for that!)—please expect delays on harvard.com orders.Learn More »
New This Week
Shop this week's new arrivals, updated every Tuesday.Learn More »