Two global icons of the left will share a stage in downtown Vancouver.
Canadian author and rabble-rouser Naomi Klein will introduce Indian author Arundhati Roy at St. Andrew's–Wesley United Church on June 26.
Roy will be in town to discuss her greatly anticipated new book, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, at an event sponsored by Indian Summer Arts Society.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness was released earlier this month, 20 years after her Booker Prize–winning The God of Small Things created an international sensation.
In between publication of her two novels, Roy has written many eloquent nonfiction essays in Outlook magazine chronicling the impact of global capitalism on her nation. She's also devoted a great deal of attention to ongoing government repression in Kashmir and why tribal people are taking up arms in a Maoist rebellion in India's poorest states.
Her last nonfiction book, Capitalism: A Ghost Story, focused on how India's richest residents wound up in control of about one-quarter of the gross national product.
Roy's uncompromising determination to cover these issues has brought her in conflict with Indian authorities. In 2010, there was even an attempt to have her charged with sedition after she noted that keeping Kashmir within India was not essential to the country's existence.
Klein's latest book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need, makes the case that the rise of Donald Trump is a logical extension of trends that she's been writing about for two decades.
They include the rise of global brands, free-market zealots exploiting societal and economic shocks to extend authoritarian rule, and the capitalist backlash to measures addressing the climate crisis.
"Of course, I know Naomi very well," Roy told the Straight in a 2014 interview. "I think she's such a fine thinker and of course, she's influenced me."
Tickets to Roy's talk are available here.
This event can be considered an hors d'oeuvre to the Indian Summer Festival, which takes place in Vancouver from July 6 to 15.
One of the festival's musical highlights will be a July 8 concert at the Orpheum Theatre featuring Grammy-winning American saxophonist Ernie Watts and legendary Indian violinist, composer, and conductor L. Subramaniam.
Watts has played with the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, and Thelonius Monk. Over Subramaniam's storied career, he has collaborated with Herbie Hancock, George Harrison, Yehudi Menuhim, and Stéphane Grappelli.
Subramaniam has also written film scores for two Mira Nair films, Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala, as well as for films by Bernardo Bertulucci and Merchant-Ivory Productions.
Today, the Indian Summer Festival organizers announced that beloved Vancouver punker and author Bif Naked will also be at one of the events. Naked, who was born in New Delhi, will join 5X15 Constellations on the closing night on July 15 at the Vogue Theatre.
It's a fast-paced night of discussion with five speakers, including Naked, speaking for 15 minutes each. Other participants will be novelist Kamila Shamsie, tabla player and music theorist Talvin Singh, graphic artist and writer Molly Crabapple, and author, poet, and educator Carmen Rodriguez. That will be followed by musical performances.
Tickets are available here.