Giller Prize

A Fine Balance

Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance

Set against the backdrop of political turmoil in 1970s India, A Fine Balance is the story of four characters of different backgrounds whose lives unexpectedly intersect shortly after the government declares a "State of Internal Emergency," and begins restricting civil liberties. Written with compassion and insight, A Fine Balance is a celebration of the value of friendship and a powerful tribute to the strength of the human spirit.

A Fine Balance won the 1995 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for Canada Reads 2002, the first edition of CBC's battle of the books, when it was defended by Megan Follows. In 2013, it was selected by the public as the greatest Giller Prize-winning book of the past 20 years, and was named the Giller of all Gillers.


"Dina Dalal seldom indulged in looking back at her life with regret or bitterness, or questioning why things had turned out the way they had, cheating her of the bright future everyone had predicted for her when she was in school, when her name was still Dina Shroff. And if she did sink into one of these rare moods, she quickly swam out of it. What was the point of repeating the story over and over and over, she asked herself -- it always ended the same way; whichever corridor she took, she wound up in the same room."

From A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry ©1995. Published by Emblem Editions.

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