The Khojas are Trinidad's most venerated Hindu family. Rigidly orthodox, presiding over acres of ill-kept sugarcane and hoards of jewellery enthusiastically guarded by old Mrs Khoja, they seem to have triumphed more by default than by anything else. Only 'Baby' Khoja, who is parcelled off into an arranged marriage with a blustering bus driver, proves an exception to this rule. Her heroic story - of resourcefulness, strength and survival - is the gleaming thread in Shiva Naipaul's ferociously comic and profoundly sad prize-winning first novel.
'A masterpiece . . . anyone who misses reading it will miss an entirely delightful experience.' Auberon Waugh, Spectator