Winner of the 1997 Booker Prize. The richly exotic story of the childhood the twins Esthappen and Rahel craft for themselves amongst India’s vats of banana jam and mountains of peppercorns.
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More magical than Mistry, more of a rollicking good read than Rushdie, more nerve-tinglingly imagined than Naipaul, here, perhaps, is the greatest Indian novel by a woman. Arundhati Roy has written an astonishingly rich, fertile novel, teeming with life, colour, heart-stopping language, wry comedy and a hint of magical realism.
Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, ‘The God of Small Things’ tells the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Amongst the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother’s factory, they try to craft a childhood for themselves amidst what constitutes their family – their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist and bottom-pincher) and their avowed enemy Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand-aunt).
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In her first novel, award-winning Indian screenwriter Arundhati Roy conjures a whoosh of wordplay that rises from the pages like a brilliant jazz improvisation. The God of Small Things is nominally the story of young twins Rahel and Estha and the rest of their family, but the book feels like a million stories spinning out indefinitely; it is the product of a genius child-mind that takes everything in and transforms it in an alchemy of poetry. The God of Small Things is at once exotic and familiar to the Western reader, written in an English that's completely new and invigorated by the Asian Indian influences of culture and language.Review:
‘Richly deserving the rapturous praise it has received on both sides of the Atlantic…“The God of Small Things” achieves a genuine tragic resonance. It is, indeed, a masterpiece.’ Observer
‘“The God of Small Things” genuinely is a masterpiece, utterly exceptional in every way, and there can be little doubt that posterity will place it very near the top of any shortlist of Indian novels published this century.’ William Dalyrmple, Harpers and Queen.
‘The quality of Ms. Roy’s narration is so extraordinary – at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple – that the reader remains enthralled all the way through to its agonizing finish…it evokes in the reader a feeling of gratitude and wonderment.’ New York Times
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