A Fine Balance

Rohinton Mistry's novel, set in mid-1970s India, was named the Giller of All Gillers by the Canadian public in 2013.

Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a "State of Internal Emergency." Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances — and their fates — become inextricably linked in ways no one could have foreseen. Mistry's prose is alive with enduring images and a cast of unforgettable characters. Written with compassion, humour, and insight, A Fine Balance is a vivid, richly textured, and powerful novel written by one of the most gifted writers of our time. (From McClelland & Stewart)

A Fine Balance won the 1995 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, the novel 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.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews 

From the book

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.

Author interviews

The award-winning Indian-born author describes the inspiration for his latest book.