About this title:
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. Repackaged as part of the 2008 Perennial fiction promotion. 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. Among 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).
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.
From the Back Cover:
"A work of highly conscious art--A Tiger Woodsian début -- the author hits the long, socio-cosmic ball but is also exquisite in her short game. Like a devotionally built temple,
The God of Small Things builds a massive interlocking structure of fine, intensely felt details." - John Updike, The New Yorker
"A gorgeous and seductive fever dream of a novel, and a truly spectacular début." - Kirkus Reviews
"With sensuous prose, a dreamlike style infused with breathtakingly beautiful images and keen insights into human nature, Roy's début novel charts fresh territory in the genre of magical, prismatic literature--Roy's clarity of vision is remarkable, her voice original, her story beautifully constructed and masterfully told." - Publishers Weekly (*starred review)
"A work that is complex in structure, sophisticated in its handling of time, and bold in its themes. But perhaps what is most remarkable is Roy's deft use of language." - Maclean's
"A compelling tale of forbidden love and its catastrophic consequences, wonderfully vivid--Arundhati Roy's novel has a magic and mystery all its own." - The Toronto Star
"Roy weaves her bold and startling narrative in sequences of luminously rendered scenes--remarkable." - The Globe and Mail
"Drenched with poetic image and saturated with wisdom, the book's rich tapestry is a tour de force in good storytelling, a book to savour and remember." - The London Free Press
"A first novel of remarkable resonance and originality--like Rushdie she is a dazzling stylist, someone who loves the sound and play of words--The God of Small Things is both funny and insightful." - The Edmonton Journal
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