Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Winner of the 1997 Booker Prize. The richly exotic story of the childhood the twins Esthappen and Rahel craft for themselves amongst India's vats of banana jam and mountains of peppercorns. Repackaged as part of the 2008 Perennial fiction promotion. More magical than Mistry, more of a rollicking good read than Rushdie, more nerve-tinglingly imagined than Naipaul, here, perhaps, is the greatest Indian novel by a woman. Arundhati Roy has written an astonishingly rich, fertile novel, teeming with life, colour, heart-stopping language, wry comedy and a hint of magical realism. Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, 'The God of Small Things' tells the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Among the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother's factory, they try to craft a childhood for themselves amidst what constitutes their family -- their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle-baron, radical Marxist and bottom-pincher) and their avowed enemy; Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand-aunt).