Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India, and studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, the story of young twins Rahel and Estha and their family, set in Kerala, India, during the late 1960s, when Communism rattled the age-old caste system. Roy received the Booker Prize for this book in 1997. She has written several nonfiction books, including The Cost of Living, Power Politics, War Talk, An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire, and Public Power in the Age of Empire. In addition to writing, she has worked as a film designer and screenplay writer in India. Roy was featured in the BBC television documentary "Dam/age," which is about the struggle against big dams in India. A collection of interviews with Arundhati Roy by David Barsamian was published as The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile. Her newest book, published by Haymarket, is Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers. Roy last read in Santa Fe in 2002, when she received the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize.
Avi Lewis is an award-winning Canadian television journalist and documentary filmmaker. His productions include The Take, an emotional story of hope and resistance in the global economy that follows Argentina's worker-run business movement, which the New York Times called, "a stirring, idealistic documentary." In the early 1990s, he hosted City TV's landmark music journalism show The New Music, interviewing hundreds of musicians, from David Bowie and Leonard Cohen to The Rolling Stones and The Spice Girls. In 2008, Lewis served as host for the series Inside USA on Al Jazeera's English television network, examining the issues at stake in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Currently, Lewis co-hosts the network's Fault Lines, a bi-weekly show that investigates the forces that drive the big news stories of today. Lewis was last in Santa Fe to interview Arundhati Roy for Lannan's Readings & Conversations in April, 2010.