Author, screenplay writer and political and social activist.
The child of a Christian mother and a Bengali Hindu father, Roy spent her childhood in Kerala, India. Aged 16 she embarked on a bohemian lifestyle in Delhi, staying in a small hut with a tin roof and making a living selling empty beer bottles.
She enrolled to study at the Delhi School of Architecture but later realised that she wanted to write. She scripted screenplays for two films, In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones and Electric Moon.
Roy then wrote a scathing criticism of Shekar Kapur's celebrated film Bandit Queen. She accused the filmmaker of exploiting Phoolan Devi on whom the film was based. Her essay resulted in considerable controversy which escalated into a court case.
After that she retired from public life to concentrate on her writing. Her first book, The God of Small Things, was published in 1997. A huge international success, it won Britain's premier book prize, the Booker McConnell, in 1997.
Since then Roy has immersed herself in peace activism, writing essays and supporting causes such as the anti-nuclear movement and the campaign against the building of the Narmada dam.