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The World of Nagaraj

The World of Nagaraj

by R. K. Narayan

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Visitors to the fictional town of Malgudi, created by prolific Indian writer Narayan, expect to be entertained by a microcosm of human relationships. In his 14th novel, Narayan continues to explore the busy lives of residents. Center stage is mild-mannered Nagaraj, ambling through his days dutifully observing religious ritual and aspiring to produce the definitive work on an ancient and perhaps non-relevant Sanskrit scholar. Nagaraj's dreams are frustrated by his practical wife, Sita, and his irrepressibly modern nephew, Tim, whose unexpected arrival unsettles Nagaraj's domestic tranquility. As the outer world presses in on Nagaraj, his customary equanimity, bolstered by interior dialogue, prevails. The Malgudi residents are talkative, philosophical and able to confront events with wonder and humor. Narayan ( Bachelor of Arts ; The English Teacher ) captures the rhythm of generally contented lives. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In this, the 14th of his well-known Malgudi novels (e.g., Talkative Man , LJ 2/1/87), Narayan takes us into the daily routine of 50-year-old Nagaraj, who peacefully lives and acts inside his thoughts and whose associations with his family and friends are usually peripheral. Nagaraj perpetually dreams of writing the definitive treatise on the Sanskrit sage, Narada, yet he never studies Sanskrit. Though his story is told with much sensitivity and deft humor, he ultimately becomes a tragic figure defeated by his own character traits--a symbol of all humanity, whose dreams can never become reality because of inherent weaknesses. Nagaraj is supremely accurate in his depiction of an India that is a paradox of contrasts--of wealth and squalor, elegance and poverty, beauty and disease, erudition and ignorance--yet he wondrously renders Nagaraj's little world to represent the entire big world where we love and strive, unable to see that we are primarily responsible for our own lives.-- Glenn O. Carey, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond

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Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
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