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The Booker Prizes Backlist

The Booker Prize 1997

The Winner

The God of Small Things

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 Shortlist

The 1997 Judges

Professor Gillian Beer (Chair) 

Rachel Billington

Jason Cowley

Jan Dalley

Professor Dan Jacobson