Early novels

John Thieme

in R. K. Narayan

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780719059261
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701249 | DOI:
Early novels

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Three of R. K. Narayan's novels – Swami and Friends (1935), The Bachelor of Arts (1937) and The English Teacher (1945) – are often grouped together as a kind of loose trilogy about the coming of age of the male protagonist. In Swami and Friends, Malgudi is far more than an anglicized version of South India, and it provides Narayan with a locus that enables him to stage some of the conflicts and conjunctions which characterised the social world in which he had come of age during the latter days of the Raj. The kind of modernity introduced by colonialism figures prominently in the opening sections of The Bachelor of Arts. A concern with gender relations informs every aspect of another novel, The Dark Room (1938).

Keywords: R. K. Narayan; novels; Swami and Friends; Bachelor of Arts; English Teacher; Dark Room; gender relations; Malgudi; South India; colonialism

Chapter.  16366 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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