Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, June 6, 2011

R K Narayan-"Under the Banyan Tree" and Four Other Stories from The Astrologer's Day and Other Tales

"Under the Banyan Tree"  (1947, 8 pages)
"Engine Trouble"  (1947, 9 pages)
"Avoid all Avoidable Talk (1947, 8 pages)
"Crime and Punishment"  (1947, 9 pages)
"Fruition at Forty"   (1947, 8 pages)

The Reading Life R. K. Narayan Porject

Indian Literature on The Reading Life

The Closing Stories in
The Astrologer's Day and Other Tales
by R. K. Narayan

Many terrible things happened in South Asia in 1947.   Millions died as a result of the Partition of India.    You would never really know this from reading the short stories of R. K. Narayan (1906 to 2001-India)   set in an imaginary small town in India, Malgudi.    Aside from a few references to motor cars and trains, these stories might have been set in 1047.

I have already done several posts on the 30 stories in this collection.   He was the first Indian author to have achieved a large audience world wide for works written in English.   (There is additional background information on him in my prior posts.)
He is considered one of the geniuses of the short story.   I know a lot of my readers are very into Narayan and I hope more will have the pleasure of discovering his work.     His stories were almost all first published in a magazine format for readers whose first language was not English.    

I liked everyone of these stories a lot.    I found once I started reading them it was hard to stop.    The stories in the collection can be read  as stand alone works but they take on more power read as a group.    Narayan gives us a real feel for life in pre-Partition India.    There is a complex moral theme to these stories and I admit I am still pondering it so I will not say more on it now.

All of the stories can be read online HERE or you can download it to a reading device.    

I will soon be posting on some of his longer works of fiction and other short stories.   

This does conclude my posts on The Astrologer's Day and Other Tales.   I enjoyed it tremendously and recommend it to all without reservation.

Mel u


Mystica said...

I am just reading The Golden Age by Tahmina Anam and it is also about partition. Wonderful book. My knowledge was a bit sketchy about this bit of history so I am really enjoying the story.

Tanu said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I really should pick up something by R.K. Narayan.

Mel u said...

Mystica-thanks for your suggestion of a work on the Partition-

Tanu-thanks for stopping by my blog-if you like you can down load for free all of the stories by Narayan I have posted on at the links in my post-some of them are really delightful-I hope you will come back and comment on them one day

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