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The God of Small Things

By: Arundhati Roy
Narrated by: Siobhan Finneran,Paul Bhattacharjee,Yasmin Wilde,Richard Sumitro,full cast
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Publisher's Summary

A full-cast BBC Radio dramatisation of Arundhati Roy's Booker Prize-winning novel—plus bonus interview with the author.

Arundhati Roy's debut novel The God of Small Things took the literary world by storm, winning the Booker Prize in 1997. It went on to sell over six million copies in 40 languages, and was named as one of the BBC's 100 'Novels That Shaped Our World' in 2019.

Set in Kerala in both the present and 1969, it tells the compelling tale of fraternal twins Rahel and Estha, whose lives are shattered by the 'Love Laws' that dictate 'who should be loved, and how. And how much'. As children, they are inseparable: so close, they think of themselves as one person. But when they are just seven, everything changes. A terrible tragedy occurs, and, drawn into its devastating repercussions, they are forced apart.

Twenty-three years later, Rahel has moved to America and made a new life. But when she hears that Estha has been 're-returned', she travels to Ayemenem to be with her long-lost, broken brother. As painful memories come flooding back, the heartbreaking events of the twins' childhood gradually unfold, and through flashbacks and flash-forwards, the secrets of their desperately dysfunctional family are revealed....

A powerful story of forbidden cross-caste love and what a community will do to protect the old ways, this enthralling, atmospheric drama stars Yasmin Wilde, Richard Sumitro and Shaheen Khan, and features a haunting soundtrack by internationally renowned musician Nitin Sawhney. Also included is a bonus episode of Radio 4's Bookclub from 2011, in which Arundhati Roy talks to James Naughtie about what was then her only work of fiction. Taking questions from the audience, she discusses the novel's themes and symbolism, and reveals how her training as an architect helped her plan its complex, multi-layered structure.

Production credits:

Written by Arundhati Roy.

Adapted by Tanika Gupta.

Original music by Nitin Sawhney.

Produced by Nadia Molinari.


Rahel—Yasmin Wilde

Estha—Richard Sumitro

Young Rahel—Jatlnder Purewal

Young Estha—Shakeel Ahmed

Ammu—Thushani Weerasekera

Velutha—Paul Bhattacharjee 

Sophie Mol—Poppy Rush

Chacko—Vincent Ebrahim

Baby Kochamma—Josephine Welcome

Mammachi—Shaheen Khan

Inspector—Matthew Raadrawl

Vellya—Badi Uzzaman

Kochu—Adlyn Ross

Margaret—Slobhan Finneran

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 12th-23rd July 2004.

Bookclub: Arundhati Roy—The God of Small Things

With James Naughtie and Arundhati Roy.

Produced by Dymphna Flynn.

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 2nd October 2011.

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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