The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

I will dive back into new writings soon, but this week I spent some time on less new literature (though still in recent past). I read, quite hungrily, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. This book came to my attention via my Austin book club, where it surfaced as a opportunity to reread a contemporary marvel. Having never read it (and I suppose this makes sense, considering it was first released when I was six), I made it a point to grab it at the book store here.

I mentioned it to a colleague today and she summarized it in few words. "Yes, I remember it. It's about love, and who you can and cannot love." Uh-huh, pretty much. But, in such an expressive, lyrical way it enunciates, despite its setting and the characters and its time in history, how this plays out in different ways, how it consequently impacts life and death. Oh, it was beautiful. It could have kept going... I would have loved to get to know Estha and Rahel more as adults.

I do not want to give too much away about this book in the chance that you, too, had not yet discovered this treasure. Instead, I leave you with this, and encourage you to go, read!

...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
Micaela NeumannComment