While the colourful sweetmeats are frying in the kitchen, Jagan immerses himself in his copy of the Bhagavad Gita. A widower of firm Gandhian principles, Jagan nonetheless harbours a warm and embarrassed affection for his wastrel son Mali. Yet even Jagan's patience begins to fray when Mali descends on the sleepy city of Malgudi full of modern notions, with a new half-American wife and a grand plan for selling novel-writing machines. From different generations and different cultures, father and son are forced to confront each other, and are taken by surprise . . .
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R.K. Narayan was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja’s College in Mysore. His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based there. In 1958 Narayan’s work The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country’s highest literary honor. In addition to his novels, Narayan has authored five collections of short stories, including A Horse and Two Goats, Malguidi Days, and Under the Banyan Tree, two travel books, two volumes of essays, a volume of memoirs, and the re-told legends Gods, Demons and Others, The Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. In 1980 he was awarded the A.C. Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature and in 1982 he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Narayan died in 2001.
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