Authors & Events
Gifts & Deals
Mar 07, 2006
| ISBN 9781400044771
Jul 22, 2009
| ISBN 9780307496928
Also available from:
Mar 07, 2006 | ISBN 9781400044771
Jul 22, 2009 | ISBN 9780307496928
In the novels of R. K. Narayan (1906-2001), the forefather of modern Indian fiction, human-scale hopes and epiphanies express the promise of a nation as it awakens to its place in the world. The three novels brought together in this volume, all written after India’s independence, are masterpieces of social comedy, rich in local color and abounding in affectionate humor and generosity of spirit.
Mr. Sampath–The Printer of Malgudi is the story of a businessman who adapts to the collapse of his weekly newspaper by shifting to screenplays, only to have the glamour of it all go to his head. In The Financial Expert, a man of many hopes but few resources spends his time under a banyan tree dispensing financial advice to those willing to pay for his knowledge. In Waiting for the Mahatma, a young drifter meets the most beautiful girl he has ever seen–an adherent of Mahatma Gandhi–and commits himself to Gandhi’s Quit India campaign, a decision that will test the integrity of his ideals against the strength of his passions. As charming as they are compassionate, these novels provide an indelible portrait of India in the twentieth century.
R. K. Narayan (1906–2001), born and educated in India, was the author of 14 novels, numerous short stories and essays, a memoir, and three retold myths. His work, championed by Graham Greene (who became a close friend), was often compared… More about R. K. Narayan
“The novelist I most admire in the English language.” –Graham Greene“Few writers since Dickens can match the effect of colorful teeming that Narayan’s fictional city of Malgudi conveys.” –John Updike“The hardest of all things for a novelist to communicate is the extraordinary ordinariness of most human happiness…Jane Austen, Soseki, Chekhov: a few bring it off. Narayan is one of them.” –The Spectator“The experience of reading one of his novels is…comparable to one’s first reaction to the great Russian novels: the fresh realization of the common humanity of all peoples, underlain by a simultaneous sense of strangeness–like one’s own reflection seen in green twilight.” –New York Herald Tribune Book Review“Narayan is a writer of Gogol’s stature, with the same gift for creating a provincial atmosphere in a time of change…One is convincingly involved in this alien world without ever being aware of the technical devices Narayan so brilliantly employs.” –The New Yorker
A novelist of little thingsIndia has long occupied a special place in the imagination of outsiders. It is in every sense an astonishing country – a country which is immensely rich in history, which is inhabited by the most remarkable and engaging people, and which holds within its boundaries virtually every type of landscape one might care to contemplate, from Rajasthan deserts to high Himalayan snowfields. For those who are smitten by India – and their number is legion – there is a rich body of literature in English with which to nurture this passion. One might pass a lifetime in a library of Indian memoirs, topography, history, religion, and philosophy, and, of course, fiction. And on those fiction shelves one would come across, in pride of place, the novels of R. K. Narayan, all well-loved short books with beguiling titles (howcould one resist a book called The Vendor of Sweets ?), and each of them a delightful window into the world that is India. Who washe, this scholarly-looking man with his heavy-framed spectacles and his air of intense concentration? Why are his books socherished and admired by enthusiasts in so many countries?
Visit other sites in the Penguin Random House Network
Stay in Touch