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The Writerly Life
The Writerly Life

The Writerly Life

by R K Narayan

Your Price: $31.00
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Product ID:13224

Language

English

Publisher

Penguin

ISBN

0143028995 - Year: 2001 - Pages: 517

Binding

Paperback

R K Narayan
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Author: R K Narayan
Editor(s): S Krishnan
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 517
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143028995

Description

These writings provide a fascinating glimpse into the private world of one of the most gifted writers of our time, and reveal the ways in which Narayan was able to convert the small and ordinary things of everyday life into memorable literary anecdotes.

When R K Narayan passed away at the age of ninety-four, tributes poured in from fans and admirers, celebrating the art of this master storyteller who has often been described as India’s greatest English language writer. Narayan is better known for his novels set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi, but his essays are as delightful and enchanting as nay of his novels.

This collection begins with the short essays which Narayan wrote as a weekly contribution to the Hindu, the subjects of which are as diverse as umbrellas, weddings, monkeys, South Indian coffee, films, the black market, old age, the caste system, gardening and Vayudoot. The later, longer essays dwell on the cultural ambiguities that persist in our nation: Narayan’s description of the linguistic confusion between the North and the South with the advent of national television is reminiscent of the misunderstood messages in his famous story “A Horse and Two Goats’. The highlight of this section is a scathingly funny essay on the making of the film The Guide, a project that distorted Narayan’s narrative beyond recognition. In a separate section on the world of the writer, Narayan describes the predicament of writing in English in India – an art which he pioneered – and the pitfalls of being considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature – which he never got.

This volume also includes the complete text of My Dateless Diary, Narayan’s jottings about his travels in America when he was in the process of writing The Guide. As journeys across the vast continent on a diet of rice and yogurt and without the aid of an alarm clock, Narayan recounts a myriad memorable moments, from his encounter with the mysterious Greta Garbo to the evening fathering where he is hailed as one of the three greatest living authors in the world.

Taken together, these writings provide a fascinating glimpse into the private world of one of the most gifted writers of our time, and reveal the ways in which Narayan was able to convert the small and ordinary things of everyday life into memorable literary anecdotes.

THE EDITOR:

S KRISHNAN taught English literature at Madras Christian College and at Annamalai University. He spent many years with the United States Information Agency in their educational and cultural programmers. He is a consulting editor with the Indian Review of Books and a senior editor of Shruti, a music and dance magazine. Krishnan has edited several volumes of R K Narayan’s writings.

Contents

Publisher's Note

Foreword

SHORT ESSAYS I

Next Sunday
The Crowd
Our Dress
Noise
Coffee
The Winged Ants
Behind One Another
Restaurants
The Cat
Causerie
Allergy
Horses and Others
The Vandal
The No-Musical Man
On Humour
The Scout
Gardening without Tears
The Great Basket
Of Trains and Travellers
Umbrella Devotee
The Sycophant
The Maha
Headache
The Critical Faculty
Beauty and the Beast
Memory
A Writer's Nightmare

MY DATELESS DIARY

New York Days
Through The Mid-West
Chicago
Westward Bound
Los Angeles
Grand Canyon and Beyond
Gurukula in Tennessee
Washington DC and Onward
New York

SHORT ESSAYS II

Toasted English
Higher Mathematics
Taxing Thoughts
Everest Reactions
Rice and Hospitality
Reception at Six
Bridegroom Bargains
The Election Game
The Unseen Shop
On Films
Street Names
Red-taping Culture
Family Doctor
Coffee Worries
Fifteen Years
To a Hindi Enthusiast
Curiosity
Rambles in a Library
At an Auctioneer's
Pride of Place
Houses, Houses
Castes: Old and New
The Newspaper Habit
The Postcard
The Lost
Umbrella
Looking One's Age
A Picture of Years

LATER ESSAYS

India and America
My Educational Outlook
Crowded Day
Teaching In Texas
On Funny Encounters
The Testament of a Walker
A Matter of Statues
History is a Delicate Subject
Sorry, No Room
Junk
Of Age
Pickpockets
Monkeys
God and the Atheist
On Ved Mehta
In the Philippines
Indira Gandhi
Cruelty to Children
Table Talk
Permitted Laughter
Vayudoot
On Walking
The Enemies

THE WORLD OF THE WRITER

Reluctant Guru
The Problem of the Indian Writer
English in India
When India was a Colony
After the Raj
In the Confessional
Misguided Guide
A Literary Alchemy
Reflections On Frankfurt
Love and Lovers
The Nobel Prize and All That
The Writerly Life

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