Contents: Preface. 1. The financial expert: a study of comic overtones/R.A. Singh. 2. Short stories of R.K. Narayan: an evaluation/Kapileswar Parija. 3. The true voice of endurance: a study of Savitri in R.K. Naranayan's The Dark Room/R.K. Gupta. 4. Old wine in new bottles: traditionalism in R.K. Narayan's novels/S.B. Tiwari. 5. My dateless diary: experiences in a distant land/Alka Saxena. 6. Marital Bliss, desolation and mystic ecstasy in The English Teacher/Dipika Sahai. 7. R.K. Narayan's Mahatma Gandhi in Waiting for the Mahatma/Gurugopal Mukherjee. 8. R.K. Narayan: Emancipation of women and the social reality: a study/Subhashini Sinha. 9. R.K. Narayan's modern heroines and the Dilemma of Men/Jaya Prasad. 10. Wife in R.K. Narayan's The Dark Room: a portrait/Neeraj Kumar. 11. Dr. R.K. Narayan's portrayal of British characters/R.B. Singh. 12. The woman question: a study of the evolution of woman-character in the novels of R.K. Narayan/Vandana Datta. 13. Man-woman relationship as mirrored in Narayan's Gandmother's Tale/Sonal K. Mehta. 14. Regional consciousness in the novels of R.K. Narayan/Sadhana Chaturvedi. 15. Dr R.K. Narayan's novel: A mix of myth and reality/S.C. Sharma and Birendra Kumar. 16. The Bachelor of Arts: regional ambience, universal appeal/C.L. Khatri. 17. Malgudi: the heart land of Narayan's novels/R.A. Singh. 18. The world of Nagaraj: an appraisal/S.K. Arora. 19. Treatment of love and marriage in R.K. Narayan's novels/Udayan Mukherjee. 20. Prose style of R.K. Narayan/M.P. Singh. Bibliography.
"This comprehensive study of R.K. Narayan's fiction is an endeavour honoris causa. By honouring the great fictionist we honour ourselves. The more we talk about him, the fuller is our find of artistic skill and subterranean meaning. It is ever expanding, ever rewarding and ever satisfying our inquisitive aspirations. His contribution to Indian literature is purely indigenous. The vast corpus of his writings is a testimony to his Indian sensibility deeply anchored in age-old traditions and still responsive to current compulsive influences. Moreover, Narayan's India has an essential monumental foundation and is not just an exhibit for foreigner's consumption. There fiction is fact, art-coated fact appearing as delectable novels and short stories. The middle class man's manners and morals, joys and sorrows, social incongruities, domestics bliss and blisters and little ironies of life are the stuff his comedies are made of and they are the issues addressed to in this anthology.
The present book is an anthology of contemporary criticism on his novels by perceptive academic-critics belonging to different universities of India. It includes general introduction to his life and works, a paper on My Dateless Diary, ten synoptic research papers on his themes, style and art, nine comprehensive papers on his individual novels. While the volume offers a spectrum of critical views on the novels and indepth analysis of his short stories of R.K. Narayan, it adds immensely to our awareness of the Indian literature and culture." (jacket)