Books That Inspire 2013

A Fine Balance
Rohinton Mistry

Scotiabank Giller Prize (1995) and Neustadt International Prize for Literature (2012).

This novel by 2012 Neustadt International Prize for Literature laureate Rohinton Mistry is a sweeping panorama of 1970s India that rightly merits the often-made comparisons placing Mistry in the ranks with Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens.

A Fine Balance is inspiring not because the story is particularly hopeful or bright, but because it leaves a devastating, lasting impression. It tells of human resilience in the throes of societal erosion and corruption, and the main characters Dina, Ishvar, Om, and Maneck will not fade in the distance when the story is over. They linger, reminding steadfastly, that all humans are deserving of dignity.

Jennifer Rickard
Digital Media Editor
World Literature Today