The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things
The God of Small Things
The God of Small Things,  is the debut novel of Indian writer Arundhati Roy.
Especially relevant,   it is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins.
The Twins’ lives are destroyed by the “Love Laws” that lay down,  “Who should be loved, how and how much.

First of all,  the book explores how the small things affect people’s behavior and their lives.
It won the Booker Prize in 1997.

The God of Small Things was Roy’s first book,  and as of August 2016 is her only novel.
Completed in 1996, the book took four years to complete.

In addition,  the potential of the story was first recognized by Pankaj Mishra, an editor with Harper Collins, who sent it to three British publishers.
Consequently, Roy received 500,000 pounds in advance.  The rights to the book were sold in 21 countries.

In 2013, Talkhiyan,  a Pakistani serial based on the novel, was aired on Express Entertainment.
The year is 1969.
In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family.

Their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu.  She loves by night the man her children love by day.
She fled an abusive marriage to live with their blind grandmother, Mammachi , who plays Handel on her violin.
Also, they lived with their beloved uncle Chacko, a Rhodes scholar and their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand aunt).

When Chacko’s English ex-wife brings their daughter for a Christmas visit, the twins learn that things can change in a day.  That lives can twist into new,  ugly shapes,  even cease forever,  beside their river…

Those were early amorphous years,  when memory had only just begun,  when life was full of beginnings and no ends, and everything was forever.  Esthappen and Rahel thought of themselves together as Me and separately, individually,  as We or Us.   As though they were a rare breed of Siamese twins, physically separate, but with joint identities.

Now, these years later,  Rahel has a memory of waking up one night giggling at Estha’s funny dream.
Also, she has other memories too that she has no right to have.
She remembers,  though she had not been there,  what the Orange and Lemon drink man did to Estha in Abhilash Talkies.

In addition,  she remembers the taste of the tomato sandwiches.  Estha’s sandwiches, that Estha ate, on the Madras Mail to Madras.  And these are only the small things.

About the Author – Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya, India,
Her father Rajib Roy, a Bengali Hindu tea plantation manager from Calcutta.
Her mother Mary Roy, a Malayali Syrian Christian women’s rights activist from Kerala.

When she was two, her parents divorced and she returned with her mother and brother to Kerala.
For a while, the family lived with Roy’s maternal grandfather in Ooty, Tamil Nadu.
When she was 5, the family moved back to Kerala, where her mother started a school.

As a result, Roy attended school at Corpus Christi, Kottayam, followed by the Lawrence School, Lovedale, in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.   She then studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi.
While in Dehli, she met architect Gerard da Cunha.
The two lived together in Delhi, and then Goa, before they broke up.

Personal life
Roy returned to Delhi, where she obtained a position with the National Institute of Urban Affairs.
In 1984 she met independent filmmaker Pradip Krishen, who offered her a role as a goatherd in his award-winning movie Massey Sahib.  Also, the two later married.
They collaborated on a television series on India’s independence movement and on two films.
Namely,  Annie and Electric Moon.

So furthermore, disenchanted with the film world, Roy worked various jobs, including running aerobics classes.
Roy and Krishen eventually split up. She became financially secure by the success of her novel
The God of Small Things, published in 1997.

In conclusion, Roy is a cousin of prominent media personality Prannoy Roy, the head of the leading Indian TV media group NDTV.
She lives in Delhi.

Hence:  The God of Small Things Quotes:

“That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less”.
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

“The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets.
The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again.
The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably.
They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings.
They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen.
They are as familiar as the house you live in.
Or the smell of your lover’s skin.
You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t.
In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t.
In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t.
And yet you want to know again.
That is their mystery and their magic.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

“And the air was full of Thoughts and Things to Say. But at times like these, only the Small Things are ever said.
Big Things lurk unsaid inside.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

“If you’re happy in a dream, does that count?”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

“She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no one.
She spent hours on the riverbank. She smoked cigarettes and had midnight swims…”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

“This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

“It is curious how sometimes the memory of death lives on for so much longer than the memory of the life that is purloined. ”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

“There are things that you can’t do – like writing letters to a part of yourself.
To your feet or hair. Or heart.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

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The God of Small Things

 

 

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