A Writer's Nightmare: 2selected Essays (1958-1988)

R. K. Narayan, Author
R. K. Narayan, Author Penguin Books $7.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-14-010791-3
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
``These days everyone feels the right to comment on any subject not necessarily concerning them,'' notes Narayan. ``I have written all the following essays because I had to.'' Originally published in the Hindu , an Indian weekly newspaper, these brief, conversational reflections range in topic from coffee (``For a South Indian, of all worries the least tolerable is coffee worry'') to the curse of the British presence in colonial India, to the mess made of Narayan's novel, The Guide , by a gang of American moviemakers. The collection ranges equally in accomplishment: though witty and knowing, Narayan sometimes natters on, perhaps hindered, as a novelist, by the inherent limits posed by fact in journalistic form. Seemingly filling space, he comments, ``A little gardening goes a long way'' and ``I remember I was very proud of being a scout.'' But when compelled to write by some more pressing need than deadline, the novelist produces a perceptive portrait of Indira Gandhi and a spirited tribute to the monkey. (June)
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