The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell
The Siege of Krishnapur is a novel by the author J. G. Farrell, published in 1973. Inspired by events such as the sieges of Cawnpore and Lucknow, the book details the siege of a fictional Indian town during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 from a single perspective: that of the British residents. The main characters find themselves subject to the increasing strictures and deprivation of the siege, which reverses the "normal" structure of life where Europeans governed Asian subjects. The book portrays an India under the control of the East India Company, as was the case in 1857. The absurdity of the class system in a town no one can leave becomes a source of comic invention, though the text is serious in intent and tone. The book gained positive reviews from a variety of sources and won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1973. Farrell used his acceptance speech to attack the sponsors for their business activities. In 2008 the book was short-listed along with five other former winners for The Best of the Booker.