The Grandmother's Tale and Selected Stories: 2

Front Cover
Viking, 1994 - Fiction - 312 pages
1 Review
For the new generation of readers about to discover India's R.K. Narayan, there could be no better introduction to his delightful writing than The Grandmother's Tale, a collection of new and selected stories celebrating a body of work that spans five decades. Standing supreme amidst this rich assortment of stories is the new title novella, brimming with Narayan's characteristic blend of masterful tragicomedy and revelatory domestic detail. As told by the narrator's grandmother, it recounts the adventures of her mother, married at ten and abandoned soon after, who spends the next twenty years tracking her runaway husband across the subcontinent to extract him from the hands of his new wife and life. Her immense courage and implacable will are the stuff of legend - but once her mission is completed, her independence vanishes. Other characters that leap from these pages include a storyteller whose magical source of tales dries up; a naive and love-stricken husband who, his astrologers say, must sleep with a prostitute in order to save his dying wife; a pampered child who discovers that his beloved uncle may be an imposter or even a murderer. Gentle irony, wryly drawn characters, and themes at once Indian and universal mark these humane stories, which firmly establish Narayan as a peer of V.S. Pritchett, Richard Yates, and William Trevor.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

THE GRANDMOTHER'S TALE: And Selected Stories

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

This grouping of stories, most of which were published previously, confirms Indian novelist and short-story writer Narayan (Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories, 1985, etc.) as a writer who views ... Read full review

The grandmother's tale and selected stories

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Reading these 19 stories is almost like holding India and its people in your hands. One can understand and almost feel the small and large pleasures, the slow-motion existence, the ever-elusive dreams ... Read full review


The Qrandmothers Tale
Salt and Sawdust

12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1994)

R. K. Narayan was born on October 10, 1906 in Madras, Brtitsh India. He graduated from Maharaja College of Mysore with a B.A. degree in 1930. He became a school teacher for a short period of time but soon decided he wanted a career in writing and stayed home to write novels. R. K. Narayan is one of the few Indian writers who has captured a wide audience in the United States and Great Britain, as well as in his native India. All of his many novels, gentle social comedies of middle-class life, take place in Malgudi, an imaginary town in southern India that serves as a kind of "golden mean", neither a large, impersonal city nor an obscure, isolated village, through which Narayan explores the dilemmas of modernization. For example, The Bachelor of Arts is the story of a sensitive youth caught in a conflict between Western ideas of love and marriage instilled in him by his education and the still-traditional milieu in which he lives. Malgudi is a microcosm of modern India, and throughout Narayan's novels, which span more than fifty years of India's growth, we can watch Malgudi's inhabitants evolve in precisely the same way that their hometown does. Narayan's wit and literary skill have made him a favorite with readers all over the world. He died of typhoid in 1939.

Bibliographic information