The Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts

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by R. K. Narayan, Graham Greene
     
 

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"There are writers—Tolstoy and Henry James to name two—whom we hold in awe, writers—Turgenev and Chekhov—for whom we feel a personal affection, other writers whom we respect—Conrad for example—but who hold us at a long arm's length with their 'courtly foreign grace.' Narayan (whom I don't hesitate to name in such a context) more

Overview


"There are writers—Tolstoy and Henry James to name two—whom we hold in awe, writers—Turgenev and Chekhov—for whom we feel a personal affection, other writers whom we respect—Conrad for example—but who hold us at a long arm's length with their 'courtly foreign grace.' Narayan (whom I don't hesitate to name in such a context) more than any of them wakes in me a spring of gratitude, for he has offered me a second home. Without him I could never have known what it is like to be Indian."—Graham Greene

Offering rare insight into the complexities of Indian middle-class society, R. K. Narayan traces life in the fictional town of Malgudi. The Dark Room is a searching look at a difficult marriage and a woman who eventually rebels against the demands of being a good and obedient wife. In Mr. Sampath, a newspaper man tries to keep his paper afloat in the face of social and economic changes sweeping India. Narayan writes of youth and young adulthood in the semiautobiographical Swami and Friends and The Bachelor of Arts. Although the ordinary tensions of maturing are heightened by the particular circumstances of pre-partition India, Narayan provides a universal vision of childhood, early love and grief.

"The experience of reading one of his novels is . . . comparable to one's first reaction to the great Russian novels: the fresh realization of the common humanity of all peoples, underlain by a simultaneous sense of strangeness—like one's own reflection seen in a green twilight."—Margaret Parton, New York Herald Tribune

Editorial Reviews

Francis King
"The hardest of all things for a novelist to communicate is the extraordinary ordinariness of most human happiness....Jane Austin, Soseki, Chekhov: a few bring it off. Narayan is one of them." -- The Spectator

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226568331
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
10/28/1994
Series:
Phoenix Fiction Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
266
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.57(d)

What People are saying about this

Graham Greene
"There are writers -- Tolstoy and Henry James to name two -- whom we hold in awe, writers -- Turgenev and Chekov -- for whom we feel a personal affection, other writers whom we respect -- Conrad for example -- but who hold us at a long arm's length with their 'courtly foreign grace.' Narayan (whom I don't hesitate to name in such a context) more than any of them wakes in me a spring of gratitude, for he has offered me a second home. Without him I could never have know what it is like to be Indian."
J. A.B. van Buitenen
"R.K. Narayan has for several decades been the best Indian writer in English. From year to year I have had a hope that he would be awarded a Nobel Prize. That may still happen. He personifies two civilizations and particularly the point of intersection between them."

Meet the Author


R. K. Narayan (1906–2001) was one of the most prominent Indian novelists of the twentieth century. Most of his stories are set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi, a place that Narayan populated with numerous characters. He was the recipient of many awards for his work including the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, India's highest literary honor. In 1980 he was awarded the AC Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature, of which he was an honorary member and in 1982 he was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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The Bachelor of Arts 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read and liked R K Narayan's works in the past. I picked this one up just based on the fact that it was written by him. It was not recommended to me by anyone. And honestly i am so glad i did. The main character is a student just out of undergrad and facing the decision of what ahead. In a very straight and simple manner Narayan portrays the character's struggles with choosing a career and then his foray into love. Its simple and yet extraordinary. BTW for those expecting a dramatic ending, don't. This book just ends. I had to turn the page to realise its finished :-)