Contents: Preface. 1. The fictional universe of R.K. Narayan--an overview/M.K. Bhatnagar. 2. The novels of R.K. Narayan and Indian reality/S.P. Swain. 3. R.K. Narayan: a novelist committed to the Hindu ideals and beliefs/S.R. Ramteke. 4. R.K. Narayan: a return to ritual and folklore/Rama Kundu. 5. Indian customs and conventions depicted in the writings of R.K. Narayan/S. Girija. 6. Gods, demons and others in the novels of R.K. Narayan/Patrick Swinden. 7. The Guru-Shishya relationship in R.K. Narayan's the guide/Stefano Mercanti. 8. Tiger must be tiger : an evaluation of Brahminical values in R.K. Narayan's a tiger for Malgudi/P. Rajendra Karmarkar. 9. Gandhian consciousness : a study in the novels of R.K. Narayan/Lalji Misra. 10. The dialogic imagination in R.K. Narayan's waiting for the Mahatma : a Bakhtinian analysis/Sravani Biswas. 11. Epoch-making patterns of resistance through the refusal of hybridity in the Raja Rao's Kanthapura and in R.K. Narayan's Malgudi/Alessandro Monti. 12. R.K. Narayan's the man-eater of Malgudi : problematising the nation/Syed Mujeebuddin. 13. Raja Rao's Kanthapura and R.K. Narayan's waiting for the Mahatma : a study in comparison/Krishna Mohan Pandey. 14. Femininity in the fiction of R.K. Narayan: a study/Pier Paolo Piciucco. 15. Ibsenite feminism in Narayan's the dark room/Sudhir Dixit. 16. Triumph of the primitive : a comparative study of Saul Bellow's Henderson the Rain King and R.K. Narayan's the guide/Digambar Singh Dewari. 17. Detachment and objectivity in R.K. Narayan's works/Pushp Lata. 18. Themes and techniques in R.K. Narayan's short stories/B. Vyaghreswarudu. Bibliography.
"R.K. Narayan's career as a novelist and short story writer spans almost eight decades from Swami and Friends (1935) to Grandmother's Tale (1992) until his death on 13 May 2001 at the ripe age of 95. His distinctive sense of humour, his trademark irony, his bemused, 'knowing' 'overseeing' perspective, his rootedness in religion and family values and his inescapable capturing of the essence of Indian sensibility--all have been looked at from a refreshingly new viewpoint, hitherto only partly touched or left unexplored and unattempted. The Guide, The Man-eater of Malgudi, A Tiger for Malgudi, Waiting for the Mahatma, and The Dark Room exploit freshly-forged tools of critical analysis--comparative, structural, 'neo-historical', feminist, Bakhtinian, post-colonial and socio-cultural and ethical.
The book presents a brilliant critical study on the vast pool of literary output of R.K. Narayan. It contains lucid discussion on new dimensions in literary theory through well-argued, illustrative analysis of popular texts. It is a scholarly elucidation of the sociology of Hinduism as reflected in his fiction.
The book is indispensable for students, teachers and researchers in various fields like literary criticism, Theory of literature, Indian philosophy, customs and thought patterns, besides social anthropology and sociology." (jacket)