Indian author and activist, who won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997 for her book “God of Small Things”?

Suzanna Arundhati Roy (born 24 November 1961) is an Indian author best known for her novel The God of Small Things (1997), which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997 and became the best-selling book by a non-expatriate Indian author. She is also a political activist involved in human rights and environmental causes.

In 1997 Roy published her debut novel, The God of Small Things to wide acclaim. The semiautobiographical work departed from the conventional plots and light prose that had been typical among best-sellers. Composed in a lyrical language about South Asian themes and characters in a narrative that wandered through time, Roy’s novel became the biggest-selling book by a nonexpatriate Indian author and won the 1998 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Roy’s subsequent literary output largely consisted of politically oriented nonfiction, much of it aimed at addressing the problems faced by her homeland in the age of global capitalism. Among her publications were Power Politics (2001), The Algebra of Infinite Justice (2002), War Talk (2003), Public Power in the Age of Empire (2004), Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers (2009), Broken Republic: Three Essays (2011), and Capitalism: A Ghost Story (2014). In 2017 Roy published The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, her first novel in 20 years. The work blends personal stories with topical issues as it uses a large cast of characters, including a transgender woman and a resistance fighter in Kashmir, to explore contemporary India.

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Who is the creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple?

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, was an English writer known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

Educated at home by her mother, Christie began writing detective fiction while working as a nurse during World War I. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), introduced Hercule Poirot, her eccentric and egotistic Belgian detective; Poirot reappeared in about 25 novels and many short stories before returning to Styles, where, in Curtain (1975), he died. The elderly spinster Miss Jane Marple, her other principal detective figure, first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1930). Christie’s first major recognition came with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), which was followed by some 75 novels that usually made best-seller lists and were serialized in popular magazines in England and the United States.

Christie’s plays included The Mousetrap (1952), which set a world record for the longest continuous run at one theatre (8,862 performances—more than 21 years—at the Ambassadors Theatre, London) before moving in 1974 to St Martin’s Theatre, where it continued without a break until the COVID-19 pandemic closed theatres in 2020, by which time it had surpassed 28,200 performances; and Witness for the Prosecution (1953), which, like many of her works, was adapted into a successful film (1957).

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Emily Bronte published only which novel in her lifetime?

Emily Jane Brontë was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. 

Emily Brontë’s work on Wuthering Heights cannot be dated, and she may well have spent a long time on this intense, solidly imagined novel. It is distinguished from other novels of the period by its dramatic and poetic presentation, its abstention from all comment by the author, and its unusual structure. It recounts in the retrospective narrative of an onlooker, which in turn includes shorter narratives, the impact of the waif Heathcliff on the two families of Earnshaw and Linton in a remote Yorkshire district at the end of the 18th century. Embittered by abuse and by the marriage of Cathy Earnshaw—who shares his stormy nature and whom he loves—to the gentle and prosperous Edgar Linton, Heathcliff plans a revenge on both families, extending into the second generation. Cathy’s death in childbirth fails to set him free from his love-hate relationship with her, and the obsessive haunting persists until his death; the marriage of the surviving heirs of Earnshaw and Linton restores peace.

Sharing her sisters’ dry humour and Charlotte’s violent imagination, Emily diverges from them in making no use of the events of her own life and showing no preoccupation with a spinster’s state or a governess’s position. Working, like them, within a confined scene and with a small group of characters, she constructs an action, based on profound and primitive energies of love and hate, which proceeds logically and economically, making no use of such coincidences as Charlotte relies on, requiring no rich romantic similes or rhetorical patterns, and confining the superb dialogue to what is immediately relevant to the subject. The sombre power of the book and the elements of brutality in the characters affronted some 19th-century opinion. Its supposed masculine quality was adduced to support the claim, based on the memories of her brother Branwell’s friends long after his death, that he was author or part author of it. While it is not possible to clear up all the minor puzzles, neither the external nor the internal evidence offered is substantial enough to weigh against Charlotte’s plain statement that Emily was the author.

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Which author created two memorable characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy in her novel?

Pride and Prejudice, romantic novel by Jane Austen, published anonymously in three volumes in 1813. A classic of English literature, written with incisive wit and superb character delineation, it centres on the burgeoning relationship between Elizabeth Bennet, the daughter of a country gentleman, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a rich aristocratic landowner. Upon publication, Pride and Prejudice was well received by critics and readers. The first edition sold out within the first year, and it never went out of print.

The work, which Austen initially titled First Impressions, is the second of four novels that Austen published during her lifetime. Although Pride and Prejudice has been criticized for its lack of historical context (it is likely set either during the French Revolution [1787–99] or the Napoleonic Wars [1799–1815]), the existence of its characters in a social bubble that is rarely penetrated by events beyond it is an accurate portrayal of the enclosed social world in which Austen lived. She depicted that world, in all its own narrow pride and prejudice, with unswerving accuracy and satire. At the same time, she placed at its centre, as both its prime actor and most perceptive critic, a character so well conceived and rendered that the reader cannot but be gripped by her story and wish for its happy denouement. In the end, Austen’s novel has remained popular largely because of Elizabeth—who was reportedly Austen’s own favourite among all her heroines—and because of the enduring appeal to men and women alike of a well-told and potentially happily ending love story.

Pride and Prejudice inspired various stage, film, and television productions. Notable adaptations included the 1940 film with Greer Garson as Elizabeth and Laurence Olivier as Darcy, the 1995 TV miniseries starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and the 2005 movie featuring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. 

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Which author wrote “Frankenstein”, which is hailed as the first sci-fi novel?

Frankenstein, the novel written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is often hailed as the first novel in the science fiction genre.

On March 11, 1818 Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus was published for the first time. Written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who was merely 21 at that time, the novel is often hailed as the first novel in the science fiction genre. Much like how it was for women writing in other genres, it was not an easy task for Shelly. The first edition was published anonymously and there is an interesting story behind writing the novel.

In 1816, Mary Shelley along with her husband, poet Percy were visiting Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva. It was rented by Lord Byron and John Polidori. The story goes that one evening, as suggested by Byron, all of them wrote their own ghost story. “I busied myself to think of a story – a story to rival those which had excited me to this task. One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror – one to make the reader dread to look around, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beating of the heart,” Mary wrote in the 1831 edition of the novel.

Needless to say she succeeded in producing what she had set out for. The tale of a scientist who decided to play God but then disgusted with his creation abandoned him has achieved an iconic status over the years. However, even though Mary Shelley started the genre, so as to say, it was still a struggle for women to make a mark in this field. Even after all these years, there remains only a handful of female writers who have managed to carve a niche for themselves. On the author’s birth anniversary, we bring to you names of some other female authors who have lent their words to the science fiction genre to make it more enriching.

Credit : The Indian Express

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