New Meetup: Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things

From: Calvin R.
Sent on: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:33 AM

Announcing a new Meetup for a ne{o}lit book club!

What: Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things
When: Tuesday, August 30,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Market Ave. Wine Bar
2521 Market Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 696-WINE (9463)

The God of Small Things (1997) is the debut novel of Indian author Arundhati Roy. Set in Kerala in the 1960s, The God of Small Things is about two children, 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 book won the Booker Prize in 1997.

The God of Small Things is Roy's first book, and as of 2010, is her only novel. Completed in 1996, the book took four years to write. 

The book is divided into twenty-one chapters. Some chapters have subdivisions in them. Other chapters are very short. The story is not told in a linear time frame. The author takes the reader back and forth from the present to the past. Facts, thoughts and recollections are interrupted in one chapter and further expanded on a few chapters later.

At certain points, Roy follows no sentence or paragraph rules. This deviation from a formal style is used to enhance the atmosphere of the book.

In the first chapter, Roy gives readers an outline of the story. The other chapters have no chronological order. The last chapter, depicting the love scene, is actually the middle of the story itself. There is no real end to the story itself. The author lets the reader imagine what the future may hold for Rahel and Estha. Will they ever find happiness and how?

The author has structured the novel in this way in order to put more emphasis on the events that lead up to the story, the consequences and the characters themselves involved.

 

So why this book? It won the Man Booker Prize, and that usually is a pretty good indicator of quality.  I like books that play with form-books that play with what exactly story telling is.  I like that fact Roy was essentially a screenwriter.  And a very successful screewriter having won two National Film Awards in India before she wrote this, her one and only novel. 

 

336 pages with lots of copies at the local library.

Check it out!

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