Overview

R. K. Narayan (1906—2001) witnessed nearly a century of change in his native India and captured it in fiction of uncommon warmth and vibrancy. The title character in The English Teacher, Narayan’s most autobiographical novel, searches for meaning when the death of his young wife deprives him of his greatest source of happiness. This pioneering novel, luminous in its detail and refreshingly free of artifice, is a gift to twentieth-century literature.
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The English Teacher

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Overview

R. K. Narayan (1906—2001) witnessed nearly a century of change in his native India and captured it in fiction of uncommon warmth and vibrancy. The title character in The English Teacher, Narayan’s most autobiographical novel, searches for meaning when the death of his young wife deprives him of his greatest source of happiness. This pioneering novel, luminous in its detail and refreshingly free of artifice, is a gift to twentieth-century literature.
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Editorial Reviews

Russell Davies
"(Narayan) does not deal in exemplary fates, and the Western novels machinery of retribution is far too grandeouse for him....In Narayan's world, scores are not settled by dissolved, recycled, restated. 'Both of us will shed our forms soon and perhaps we could meet again, who knows? So goodbye for the present.' These are the concluding words of the novel A Tiger for Malgudi, but they constitute a universal epilog one could have been most of Narayan's fiction." -- Times Literary Supplement
J.S. Muehl
"Mr. Narayan has repeatedly been compared with Chekov. Ordinarily such comparisons are gratutious and strained, but in this case there are such clear and insistent echoes that any careful reader will be aware of them. It leaves that sense of rightness which transends mere structure. There is the inexplicable blending of tragedy and humour. Most of all, there is a brooding awareness of fate which makes the story seem not altered, but merely transcribed." -- Saturday Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345803825
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/25/2012
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 843,336
  • File size: 2 MB

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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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2005

    Undoubtedly Narayan at his best, as always

    I am an avid reader of R.K.Narayan. Subtlety, the essence of Narayan's writing, weaves the poignant and humorous frames in the novel seamlessly. The novel doesn't mention anything about his wife or parents for a while. But the reader is made aware that Krishna indeed is married when a couple of letters arrives from his wife and father. Krishna smells the jasmine-fragrant envelope. It reminds him of the trunk in which his wife keeps all her stationery and her ever-lasting association with jasmine. Even though said subtly, it will give the reader the strong bond existing between Krishna and his wife. This is possible only for a great author like R.K. Then there are moments of sadness which will make one shed tears and feel gloomy along with the English teacher Krishna might feel in the story. But the author springs up a surprise to make Krishna get relief through a series of self-development. The couple Krishna and Sushila is made into an immortal ideal pair. Having read almost all the works of Narayan I would rate this as his achievement of a lifetime.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    Superbly written, enriching

    In an unusual and richly elegant prose, Narayan tells the story of a college teacher and his love for wife and family. The love is expressed indirectly, yet beautifully and tenderly. Interwoven into the story is a subtle social commentary and philosophical outlook on life and self. The theme of spirituality and longing is powerful, never heavy-handed, to the point that even the most improbable somehow seems probable and hopeful. A very profound book that I know I will return to again and again.

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