(Last Updated on : 11-02-2009)
The extremely stylized novel, "The God of Small Things" of the great storyteller Arundhati Roy is the neat story of an unhappy family. Woven in a gentle way the novel with subtle flashbacks and flash forwards unveils the secrets of the unhappiness of the characters.
Arundhati Roy was born on 24th November 1961. She is known as an Indian novelist, activists and a world citizen. She started her writing career with 'The God of Small Things' and won the Booker Prize in 1997 for the same. Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya to a Keralite Syrian Christian mother and a Bengali Hindu father, who was a tea planter by profession. She spent her childhood in Aymanam, in Kerala. She did her schooling in Corpus Christi. At the age of 16 she left Kerala and reached Delhi. She was bound to spend a homeless lifestyle and was staying in a small hut with a tin roof within the walls of Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla. She was selling empty bottles for her livelihood. She then proceeded to study architecture at the Delhi School of Architecture, where she met her first husband, the architect Gerard Da Cunha. The God of Small Things is the only novel written by Roy. Since winning the Booker Prize, she has concentrated her writing on political issues. These include the Narmada Dam project, India's Nuclear Weapons; corrupt power company Enron's activities in India. She is prominently known character of the anti-globalization or alter-globalization movement and a vehement critic of neo-imperialism.
'The God of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy is set at the backdrop of 1990's and it centers around a tragedy that rends a family apart and its lasting effects on the twins who were at the heart of it. She tells her story in a completely original narrative that puts the reader inside the heads of the young twins who drive the plot.
The story chiefly takes place in a town named Ayemenem now part of Kottayam in Kerala. The story enters in the 1990s as the young woman named Rahel returns to her village to be reunited with her twin brother Esthahappen whom she hasn't seen in many years. Two of the lead characters are the fraternal twins Estha and Rahel. They are bonded unusually close. They used to called themselves as 'Me', and when separated as 'We' or 'Us'. The temporal setting shifts back and forth from 1969, when Rahel and Estha, a set of fraternal twins are 7 years old, to 1993, when the twins are reunited at age 31. The story also concentrates on the tragic death of their English cousin, why Estha stopped speaking and so on. Some of the potential characters present in the story can be mentioned as Grandma Mammachi, Grandaunt Baby Kochamma, the handyman Velutha, Ammu etc. Many of the characters are well developed.
After reading this book the reader see the world through the slightly fantastic, exaggerated eyes of a child caught in very grown-up circumstances. The innocence of the perspective makes the events of the plot seem that much more disturbing and downright chilling.
Harper Perennial in the year of 1998 published the 'The God of Small Things' written by Arundhati Roy.