The Dark Room (Narayan novel)
Cover for the 1994 US paperback.
|LC Class||PR9499.3.N3 D37 1981|
|Preceded by||The Bachelor of Arts|
|Followed by||Malgudi Days|
The central character of this novel is Savitri, a submissive housewife, who is married to Ramani, an employee of the Engladia Insurance Company. They have three children, Kamala, Sumati and Babu. Savitri is a typical housewife of the India of those times, very much dominated and neglected by her husband. There is a dark room in their house where Savitri retires whenever her husband's harshness seems unbearable to her.
Savitri's husband has a torrid affair with a newly recruited employee in his firm. Savitri learns about it and threatens to leave her husband's home. Ramani, in his arrogance, does not pay heed to the threat. But the fire ignited inside Savitri is strong enough to remain steadfast on her decision and leaves after a bitter quarrel. She tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide by drowning in a river. After some twists, typical to Narayan's style, such as taking up a caretaker job in a temple, Savitri ultimately cannot bear living without her children, so comes back, thereby deciding to live with the burden.
- 1938, UK, Macmillan Publishers ISBN ?, Pub date ? ? 1938, hardback (first edition)
- 1990, UK, Mandarin ISBN ?, Pub date ? ? 1990, paperback
- 1994, UK, Minerva ISBN ?, Pub date ? ? 1994, paperback
- 1994, U.S., University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-56837-7, Pub date 1 September 1994, paperback
- 2005, UK, Indian Thought Publications ISBN 81-85986-02-9, Pub date ? ? 2005, paperback reissue
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