Overview for R.K. Narayan: As a Novelist
R.K. Narayan's first novel was published in 1935 and his latest in 1986, His fame in India and abroad has, during this half century, grown steadily, and there is no disputing the fact that among all Indian writers of fiction in English he holds pride of place. What makes for Narayan's greatness is his intimate portraiture of life it is in a middle-class Indian home, and the streets and lanes where the poor and dispossessed carry on their occupations. His sense of humour and his irony are such as can often elude the academics and those so used to our conditions as to be incapable of questioning them. His rootedness in our culture and traditions gives him at the same time an ambivalence which can irritate a foreigner or a superficial reader. It is the purpose of this book to elucidate what lies beneath Narayan's seemingly simple surface, and then to judge him by the highest standards. Narayan can stand this test. Not only the foreigner but the Indian too will realize after reading this book how much of value apart from sheer pleasure Narayan has to offer. At the same time his occasional faults are not overlooked.
P.S. Sundaram (Author)
P.S. Sundaram had a distinguished career as a student of the Universities of Madras and Oxford, and taught English for nearly forty years as Professor at Lahore, Cuttack, Bareilly and Jaipur. He was elected President of the All-India English Teacher's Conference in 1968, and Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Journal of English Studies in 1978-79. He is the author of a book on R.K. Narayan published by Arnold-Heinemann, India in 1973. The present book is entirely a new one on the same novelist. In addition to many essays and lectures on English and American authors published and delivered, Professor Sundaram has of late been tralsating Tamil and Sanskrit classics into English verse. His translation of the poems of Subramania Bharati was published in 1981. He translated the Kural of Tiruvalluvar and the Tiruppavai and the Nacchiyar Tirumoli of Andal in 1987. His translation of the Saundarya Lahari, the Sivananda Lahri and other stotras of Sankaracharya has well been received.