The Master of Small Things

In 1950, in my first term at Oxford, my father wrote and asked me to send him books by R.K. Narayan. The name was new to me. My father was a journalist. He also wrote stories, in English, about our rural Trinidad Indian community; and he was always on the lookout for Indian writers in whose work he might find encouragement. Narayan, writing in English about small people in a small south Indian town, would have been especially interesting for my father. I went to Blackwell's, the Oxford bookseller, and in the secondhand section found three Narayan titles. One was The...

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