(the God of Small Things) "… is not just about small things, it's about how the smallest things connect to the biggest things - that's the important thing. And that's what writing will always be about for me… I'm not a crusader in any sense"(Roy as quoted in Kingsnorth).
"I think fiction for me has always been a way of trying to make sense of the world as I know it." Arundhati Roy
Her novel, The God of Small Things, has been described as 'remarkable for its quality of innocence and originality'. It is a playful book, full of poetry and wisdom. Arundhati Roy says herself that "it isn't a book about India... It is a book about human nature."
Set in kerala in the 1960s, The God of Small Things is about two children, the two egg twins, Estha and Rahel, and the shocking consequences of a pivotal event in their young lives, the accidental death-by-drowning of a visiting English cousin. In magical and poetic language, the novel paints a vivid picture of life in a small rural Indian town, the thoughts and feelings of the two small children, and the complexity and hypocrisy of the adults in their world. It is also a poignant lesson in the destructive power of the caste system, and moral and political bigotry in general. The novel has become an international best-seller, and in October 1997 won the coveted Booker Prize.
From Publishers Weekly
With sensuous prose, a dreamlike style infused with breathtakingly beautiful images and keen insight into human nature, Roy's debut novel charts fresh territory in the genre of magical, prismatic literature. Set in Kerala, India, during the late 1960s when Communism rattled the age-old caste system, the story begins with the funeral of young Sophie Mol, the cousin of the novel's protagonists, Rahel and her fraternal twin brother, Estha. In a circuitous and suspenseful narrative, Roy reveals the family tensions that led to the twins' behavior on the fateful night that Sophie drowned. Beneath the drama of a family tragedy lies a background of local politics, social taboos and the tide of history?all of which come together in a slip of fate, after which a family is irreparably shattered. Roy captures the children's candid observations but clouded understanding of adults' complex emotional lives. Rahel notices that "at times like these, only the Small Things are ever said. The Big Things lurk unsaid inside." Plangent with a sad wisdom, the children's view is never oversimplified, and the adult characters reveal their frailties?and in one case, a repulsively evil power?in subtle and complex ways. While Roy's powers of description are formidable, she sometimes succumbs to overwriting, forcing every minute detail to symbolize something bigger, and the pace of the story slows. But these lapses are few, and her powers coalesce magnificently in the book's second half. Roy's clarity of vision is remarkable, her voice original, her story beautifully constructed and masterfully told.