The God of Small Things

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Harper Collins, 1998 - Fiction - 321 pages
4 Reviews
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"The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, a skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins is stranded on the highway amid a Marxist workers' demonstration. Inside the car sit two-egg twins Rahel and Esthappen, and so begins their tale.... Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, they fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family--their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu (who loves by night the man her children love by day), their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt), and the ghost of an imperial entomologist's moth (with unusually dense dorsal tufts). When their English cousin, Sophie Mol, and her mother, Margaret Kochamma, arrive on a Christmas visit, Esthappen and Rahel learn that Things Can Change in a Day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever their river 'graygreen. With fish in it. With the sky and trees in it. And at night, the broken yellow moon in it.' The brilliantly plotted story uncoils with an agonizing sense of foreboding and inevitability. Yet nothing prepares you for what lies at the heart of it. The God of Small things takes on the Big Themes--Love. Madness. Hope. Infinite Joy. Here is a writer who dares to break the rules. To dislocate received rhythms and create the language she requires, a language that is at once classical and unprecedented. Arundhati Roy has given us a book that is anchored in anguish, but fueled by with and magic." -- Provided by publisher
 

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THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS

User Review  - Kirkus

A brilliantly constructed first novel that untangles an intricate web of sexual and caste conflict in a vivid style reminiscent of Salman Rushdie's early work. The major characters are Estha and Rahel ... Read full review

A great read for language lovers

User Review  - eammers - Borders

Big Things—colonialism, the caste system and inter-family dynamics—are encapsulated in Small Things seen through the eyes of young twin siblings Rahel and Estha. Roy’s twisty wordplay deftly spins a story of cultural and personal longing. Read full review

Contents

Paradise Pickles Preserves
3
Pappachis Moth
35
Big Man the Laltain Small Man the Mombatti
84
Abhilash Talkies
90
Gods Own Country
118
Cochin Kangaroos
130
Wisdom Exercise Notebooks
148
Welcome Home Our Sophie Mol
157
KochuThomban
217
The Pessimist and the Optimist
226
Work Is Struggle
254
The Crossing
273
A Few Hours Later
275
Cochin Harbor Terminus
279
The History House
288
Saving Ammu
297

Mrs Pillai Mrs Eapen Mrs Rajagopalan
178
The River in the Boat
184
The God of Small Things
205
The Madras Mail
306
The Cost of Living
313
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About the author (1998)

Suzanna Arundhati Roy, 1961 - Suzanna Roy was born November 24, 1961. Her parents divorced and she lived with her mother Mary Roy, a social activist, in Aymanam. Her mother ran an informal school named Corpus Christi and it was there Roy developed her intellectual abilities, free from the rules of formal education. At the age of 16, she left home and lived on her own in a squatter's colony in Delhi. She went six years without seeing her mother. She attended Delhi School of Architecture where she met and married fellow student Gerard Da Cunha. Neither had a great interest in architecture so they quit school and went to Goa. They stayed there for seven months and returned broke. Their marriage lasted only four years. Roy had taken a job at the National Institute of Urban Affairs and, while cycling down a road; film director Pradeep Krishen offered her a small role as a tribal bimbo in Massey Saab. She then received a scholarship to study the restoration of monuments in Italy. During her eight months in Italy, she realized she was a writer. Now married to Krishen, they planned a 26-episode television epic called Banyan Tree. They didn't shoot enough footage for more than four episodes so the serial was scrapped. She wrote the screenplay for the film In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones and Electric Moon. Her next piece caused controversy. It was an article that criticized Shekar Kapur's film Bandit Queen, which was about Phoolan Devi. She accused Kapur of misrepresenting Devi and it eventually became a court case. Afterwards, finished with film, she concentrated on her writing, which became the novel "A God of Small Things." It is based on what it was like growing up in Kerala. The novel contains mild eroticism and again, controversy found Roy having a public interest petition filed to remove the last chapter because of the description of a sexual act. It took Roy five years to write "A God of Small Things" and was released April 4, 1997 in Delhi. It received the Booker prize in London in 1997 and has topped the best-seller lists around the world. Roy is the first non-expatriate Indian author and the first Indian woman to win the Booker prize.

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