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Roy, Arundhati

(Indian, 1961– )

Arundhati Roy broke through from nowhere to win the Booker Prize in 1997 with her first novel, The God of Small Things. Its rich and pungent descriptions will take you to an India off the tourist track, rural Kerala in 1969. The story explores the complex intricacies of a family collapse. You know something terrible has happened almost from the first page but the flashback structure means you have to read to the end to find out what. The sense of foreboding travels with you throughout the book and lingers after you've fitted the pieces together. Roy's style is fresh and unexpected—lyrical one moment, barbed digs at hypocrisy the next, with a wide frame of cultural reference—Karl Marx, The Sound of Music, and the Bible Society.

Kate Atkinson, Roddy Doyle, R. K. Narayan. See INDIA  RV

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