Three of R. K. Narayan's novels – Swami and Friends (1935), The Bachelor of Arts (1937) and The English Teacher (1945) – are often grouped together as a kind of loose trilogy about the coming of age of the male protagonist. In Swami and Friends, Malgudi is far more than an anglicized version of South India, and it provides Narayan with a locus that enables him to stage some of the conflicts and conjunctions which characterised the social world in which he had come of age during the latter days of the Raj. The kind of modernity introduced by colonialism figures prominently in the opening sections of The Bachelor of Arts. A concern with gender relations informs every aspect of another novel, The Dark Room (1938).
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