The English Teacher

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 1978 - Fiction - 183 pages
5 Reviews
This novel completes the informal trilogy which began with Swami and Friends and The Bachelor of Arts. The protagonist, Krishna, is an English teacher at the same college he had attended as a student. Although Krishna has recently married, his wife Susila and their daughter live with his parents-in-law some miles away. The story opens with his immediate family deciding to join him in Malgudi. Krishna is initially frightened by his new state of affairs, but he soon finds that his love for both his wife and child grows deeper than he could have imagined.

"Mr. Narayan has repeatedly been compared with Chekhov. Ordinarily such comparisons are gratuitous and strained, but in this case there are such clear and insistent echoes that any careful reader will be aware of them. There is that sense of rightness which transcends mere structure. There is the inexplicable blending of tragedy and humor. Most of all, there is a brooding awareness of fate which makes the story seem not authored, but merely translated."—J.F. Muehl, Saturday Review

"[Narayan] does not deal in exemplary fates, and the Western novel's machinery of retribution is far too grandiose for him. . . . In Narayan's world, scores are not settled but 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 for the novel A Tiger for Malgudi, but they constitute a universal epilogue one could append to most of Narayan's fiction."—Russell Davies, Times Literary Supplement

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stubbyfingers - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The plain cover and the fact that it was written by and Indian guy over 60 years ago made me think that I was going to bored by this, but I wasn't. It ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

It's simply invigorating to read through "The English Teacher.More than Being fiction it's something that takes you to the unveiled realms of human experience.Life ,if you experience with the demanding enthusiasm and vigour ,can take you to some real fulfillment that do exist.This novel is not to be read ,but felt with the inner soul .
Sethumadhavan Puravankara

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1978)

R. K. Narayan was born Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayanaswami in Madras, India on October 10, 1906. He graduated from Maharaja College of Mysore with a B.A. degree in 1930. He attempted to teach for a bit but then switched to writing full time. His first book, Swami and Friends, was published in Britain in 1935. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 30 novels and hundreds of short stories. His other novels included The Bachelor of Arts, The Dark Room, The English Teacher, The Guide, The Financial Expert, The Man Eater of Malgudi, The Vendor of Sweets, and The World of Nagaraj. He was one of the first Indians to write in English and gain international recognition. He received numerous awards including the Padma Bhushan, India's highest prize. He died on May 13, 2001 at the age of 94.

Bibliographic information