Two years ago this month, the first cases of Covid-19 were reported in the United States. “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew,” wrote acclaimed author and activist Arundhati Roy just weeks into the shutdown. So have we? Two years on, what’s changed and what hasn’t in the US, India, and globally in a world that often seems to be teetering on the brink. If our goal is a better society, a world that is sustainable, just, and free, how are we doing, and what role do writers, literature, and language itself play in helping us find our way? This time on the LF Show, we explore all of this and more with Arundhati Roy who joins us from her home in New Delhi, India. Roy is the author of The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness as well as numerous essays on human rights, environmental justice, and global capitalism. This Spring, a new edition of her book of essays Azadi: Fascism, Fiction, and Freedom in the Time of the Virus will be out from Haymarket Books. All that and a closing commentary from Laura about American Exceptionalism and the pitfalls therein.
“There is a world outside of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, a world that is slowly falling away, a world that cannot be understood just by gathering comments… a world that needs to be listened to very carefully.” – Arundhati Roy