Here, perhaps, is the greatest Indian novel by a woman. Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’ is 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).
Reviews of The God of Small Things
‘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