The Dark Room (Narayan novel)

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The Dark Room
Narayan TheDarkRoom.jpg
Cover for the 1994 US paperback.
Author R.K.Narayan
Country India
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Eyre
Publication date
1938
Media type Print
ISBN 978-0-226-56837-9
OCLC 7172688
823 19
LC Class PR9499.3.N3 D37 1981
Preceded by The Bachelor of Arts
Followed by Malgudi Days

The Dark Room is a novel written by R.K.Narayan, the well-known English-language novelist from India. Like most of his other works, this is a tale set in the fictitious town of Malgudi.

This work of literature was first published in Great Britain in 1938 by Macmillan & Co., Ltd. London. The first Indian edition came out in 1956.

Plot summary[edit]

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.

Release details[edit]

  • 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