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Arundhati Roy Receives the 2022 St. Louis Literary Award

by Maggie Rotermund on 04/29/2022
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04/29/2022

The Saint Louis University Library Associates honored author Arundhati Roy with the 2022 St. Louis Literary Award Thursday. 

Author Arundhati Roy, left, and Amber Johnson, Ph.D., interim vice president of DICE, talk about Roy's writing process. Photo by Maggie Rotermund. Launch SlideshowAuthor Arundhati Roy, left, and Amber Johnson, Ph.D., interim vice president of DICE, talk about Roy's writing process. Photo by Maggie Rotermund.

She received the award in a ceremony at the Sheldon Concert Hall, which featured a conversation between Roy and Amber Johnson, Ph.D., interim vice president of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement at Saint Louis University.

Roy told the crowd she was proud to receive the award and happy to be considered in the company of other St. Louis Literary Award winners, but she was thrilled know that the Award and its Campus Read program sought to explore the work of the honored authors. 

Roy is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, which received the 1997 Booker Prize and was listed as a New York Times notable book of the year. Her second novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness was named to the Man Booker long list in 2017 and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Roy said that her art allowed her to share her beliefs with the world. 

“Writing is something I have to do,” Roy said. “For me, it is something I do because I cannot do anything else.”

She noted that for her non-fiction writing, some have called her intellectual terrorist and an angry, hysterical woman. 

“I am not an angry woman; I am angry for a reason,” she said. “I have to shout things from the rooftops - whispering to my grandmother wouldn't do anything.”

The event included a musical performance by Sebastian Buhts and a dance performance by SLU sophomore Samanvita Kasthuri. 

Roy also participated in a Craft Talk on Friday, April 29, with Joya Uraizee, Ph.D., professor of English at Saint Louis University.

St. Louis Literary Award

The St. Louis Literary Award is presented annually by the Saint Louis University Library Associates and has become one of the top literary prizes in the country. The award honors a writer who deepens our insight into the human condition and expands the scope of our compassion. Some of the most important writers of the 20th and 21st centuries have come to Saint Louis University to accept the honor, including Margaret Atwood, Salmon Rushdie, Eudora Welty, John Updike, Saul Bellow, August Wilson, Stephen Sondheim and Tom Wolfe.

Saint Louis University Library Associates

One of the oldest literary and cultural organizations in St. Louis, the Saint Louis University Library Associates seeks to build a closer relationship between the University and the community and to promote an appreciation for the value of literature. The Library Associates work to enhance the visibility of the Saint Louis University Libraries and to support the development of their world-class collections and services.