R. K. Narayan is a wonderful short story teller who still lives in the mind of readers from Indian as well as abroad. His novels are characterized by Chekhovian simplicity and gentle humour sense. Characters in his novels tend to be very down-to-earth and humble. His writing career began with 'Swami and Friends'. At first, he faced some problems and could not get the novel published. Eventually, a mutual friend, Purna, showed the draft to famous British author Graham Greene. Greene liked it so much that he arranged for its publication. Greene was to remain a close friend and admirer of R. K. Narayan till his later life. After that, he published a continuous stream of novels, all set in Malgudi. This was a make-believe village made by R. K. Narayan.
Each of his stories deals with different characters in that fictional place. Autobiographical content forms a significant part of some of his novels. For example, the events surrounding the death of his young wife and how he coped with the loss form the basis of 'The English Teacher'. Many of Narayan's works are rooted in everyday life, though he is not shy of raising Hindu tales or traditional Indian folklore to emphasize a point. His easy-going outlook on life has sometimes been criticized, though in general he is viewed as an accomplished, sensitive and reasonably prolific writer. Many of his works got awards and acclamation from different societies in India and abroad.
'A Grandmother's Tale' by R. K Narayan is a beautifully written book that is easily accessible for children and adults. The story is a narrative where Mr. Naryan is writing his Grandmother's story, a look into an India where child marriage was normal and annas were still the currency. This book allows a reader to journey through an old India, which is filled with ancient and family traditions. The life style at that time was bit difficult but however it is Narayan depicts it with full grace. This book is relatively short and very easy for a middle school child to read.
Told by the narrator's grandmother, the tale recounts the adventures of her mother, married at seven and then abandoned, who crosses the subcontinent to extract her husband from the hands of his new wife. Her courage is immense. But once her mission is completed, her independence vanishes. Gentle irony, wryly drawn characters, and themes at once Indian and universal mark these humane stories, which firmly establish Narayan as one of the world's prominent storytellers.
Viking Press, William Heinemann Ltd., Ecco, Minerva, Indian Thought, etc publish this book of 'Grandmother's tale'.
A true picture of India can be getting from this story. The language is very transparent and it is being easily able to gather the interest of teens.
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