Listening to Grasshoppers

Listening to Grasshoppers : Field Notes on Democracy

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'What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning?'Combining brilliant insight and razor-sharp prose, Listening to Grasshoppers is Arundhati Roy's essential exploration of the political picture in India today. In these essays she takes a hard look at the underbelly of the world's largest democracy and shows how the journey that Hindu nationalism and neo-liberal economic reforms began together in the early 1990s is unravelling in dangerous ways. Beginning with the state-backed killing of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, and ending with an analysis of the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai, Listening to Grasshoppers tracks the fault-lines that threaten to destroy India's precarious future and, along the way, asks fundamental questions about democracy itself - a political system that has, by virtue of being considered 'the best available option', been put beyond doubt and correction.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 20mm | 222.26g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • map
  • 0141044098
  • 9780141044095
  • 107,831

About Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy is the author of The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize in 1997 and has been translated into more than forty languages, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017. Roy has also published several works of non-fiction, including The Algebra of Infinite Justice, Listening to Grasshoppers and Broken Republic. She lives in Delhi.
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Rating details

1,195 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 29% (350)
4 44% (526)
3 21% (255)
2 4% (47)
1 1% (17)

Our customer reviews

Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy is the 12th non-fiction book by Booker Prize winning author, Arundhati Roy. In this collection of eleven related essays, the author of The God Of Small Things turns her prodigious talent for striking imagery and eloquent prose to the exploration of the political situation in India. Roy states that the essays were written in anger, in reaction to certain events (massacres, pogroms, genocide, assassinations, death sentences) and have been reprinted unchanged (although endnotes may have been added). While the significance of many names will be missed by those readers unfamiliar with current affairs in India (this reader included), nonetheless, Roy gets her point across. Although the corruption she writes about is no surprise, her revelations of the judiciary system, genocide, the Kashmir situation and religious tensions may be an eye opener. The conclusion I make from this powerful read is that I am eternally grateful not to be living as a non-Hindu in present-day India. As well as copious endnotes and references, Roy includes a short story, The Briefing, in the Appendix. I wonder, do fans of this amazing author's novel hope in vain for another foray by her into the world of fiction?show more
by Marianne Vincent
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