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The God of Small Things Paperback – 1 May 1998
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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.
‘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
‘Roy is truly gifted, not just in her ability to make words playful and meaning mischievous, but to use this to create a language texture that bowls you along, gathering momentum like the narrative itself…Witty and vivid, full of rich, memorable images…a verbal stream of steady beauty.’ Ali Smith
‘It is rare to find a book that so effectively cuts through the clothes of nationality, caste and religion to reveal the bare bones of humanity. A sensational novel.’ Daily Telegraph
‘A quite astonishing novel by any standards – broad in its historical sweep, emotionally profound and marvellously acute and delicate.’ Economist
‘Quite brilliant…One can only strongly recommend this extremely funny and enchanting and pretty much genius piece of debut fiction.’ SpectatorSee all Product description
From the Publisher
The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy’s Booker novel was the literary sensation of the 1990s: a story anchored to anguish but fuelled by wit and magic.
The God of Small Things
They all broke the rules. They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.
This is the story of Rahel and Estha, twins growing up among the banana jam vats and peppercorns of their blind grandmother’s factory, and amid scenes of political turbulence in Kerala. Armed only with the innocence of youth, they fashion a childhood in the shade of the wreck that is their family: their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher) and their sworn enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun, incumbent grand-aunt).
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There is the story of two-egg twins, Esthappen and Rahel, whose love of the 'untouchable' Velutha, who is also loved ( in a different way) by their widowed mother at the centre. There is the presence in their lives of the twins' Oxford educated uncle whose widowed ex-wife returns from England with their daughter, Sophie Mol, (dies tragically). The account of the physical love between Ammu and Velutha is perhaps the crowning glory of achievement here. Read it and savour it.
What a great writer. Love her metaphors and I'm learning so much about the history of a place where some of my beloved friends and colleagues are from. Can't put the book down!