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 (1906–2001), born and educated in India, was the author of fourteen novels, numerous short stories and essays, a memoir, and three retold myths. His work, championed by Graham Greene, who became a close friend, was often compared to that of Dickens, Chekhov, Faulkner, and Flannery O'Connor, among others. October 10, 2006, is the centennial of Narayan's birth.
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