(Last Updated on : 06/01/2009)
The title story of this collection of stories 'salt and sawdust' is very humorous. The collection itself contains many humorous stories. In the title story the wife cannot determine the difference between the salt and sawdust. And the story proceeds narrating some incidents of her life in a unique way.
R. K. Narayan is one of the famous writers of India writing in English. He was born in 1906 in Chennai. He was educated from the place Mysore. His original name was Rasipuram Krishnaswami Aiyar Naranayanaswamy, which was shortened as R. K. Narayan on the British writer Graham Green. The creator of his make-believe village Malgudi has created many marvelous stories that are still new to the reader's mind. In his writings the characters are so alive that it seems that they in the next door. He was an excellent narrator. He used to bring life in his pen and paper through his simple, elegant and straightforward style. One of his creations was made into film while his immortal creation 'Swami and friend's' was made into a television serial. He has won many awards in his lifetime. In 1958 he won Sahitya Akademi Award. He also won Padma Bhushan for his distinguished work in literature. In 1980 the Royal society of Literature awarded him A C Benson award. He is a notable personality on Indian history of literature, his fictitious village had no existence but he lives in the mind of every reader.
Salt and sawdust is a delightful new collection of stories and essays. These were never published before but always carry the essence of R. K. Narayan's writing style. The title story 'Salt and Sawdust' is the little story. This is basically a witty portrayal of a wife who cannot tell the difference between salt and sawdust when it comes to seasoning food, leaving her husband with no options but to cook himself. The wife meanwhile is writing a novel, which takes, up all her time and when it is finished she is, ironically, advised by her publishers to turn her novel into a cookery book. In addition to short stories this book also has a section called Table Talk. According to R K Narayan this is a new form of writing, without the compulsion of an argument or conclusion. This has no theme and without a definite form.
'Salt and sawdust' is a masterpiece by R. K. Narayan, which is published by Penguin books in the year of 1993.
Narayan's stories and sketches are, as always, infused with wit, warmth and a wonderful timelessness making this book an essential read for all Narayan enthusiasts. All his books are usually very attractive and this collection of Narayan is unique in true sense as it contains some unpublished stories of the author.