Mr Sampath - The Printer of Malgudi, The Financial Expert, Waiting for the Mahatma
In the novels of R. K. Narayan (1906-2001), the forefather of Indian fiction, we witness the birth of a nation as it awakens to its place in the world. The three novels brought together in this volume, all written after India's independence, are masterpieces of social comedy, rich in local colour and abounding in affectionate humour and generosity of spirit.
Mr Sampath - The Printer of Malgudi is the story of a businessman who adapts to the collapse of his weekly newspaper by shifting to screenplays, only to have the glamour of it all go to his head. In The Financial Expert, a man of many hopes but few resources spends his time under a banyan tree dispensing financial advice to those willing to pay for his knowledge. In Waiting for the Mahatma, a young drifter meets the most beautiful girl he has ever seen - an adherent of Mahatma Gandhi - and commits himself to Gandhi's Quit India campaign, a decision that will test the integrity of his ideals against the strength of his passions.
“Narayan wakes in me a spring of gratitude, for he has offered me a second home. Without him I could never have known what it is like to be Indian. - Graham Greene Narayan's humour and compassion come from a deep universal well, with the result that he has transformed his imaginary township of Malgudi into a bubbling parish of the world. - The Observer An idyll as delicious as anything I have met in modern literature for a long time. The atmosphere and texture of happiness, and, above all, its elusiveness, have seldom been so perfectly transcribed. - Elizabeth Bowen”