The Master of Small Things

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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...