A delightful collection from India's foremost storyteller, Under the Banyan Tree adds twenty-eight tales of the rich and colorful heritage of R K Narayan's fictional south Indian city, Malgudi. Narayan's characters, observed with a wry and compassionate eye, come from every area of Indian society - merchants, beggars, herdsmen, hermits, teachers, rogues - and represent in miniature a wealth of human experience. A rebellious young man refuses to honour a vow made by his parents in an ancestral temple long ago in Nitya. A shopkeeper is made bankrupt by a charming stranger in A Career. In other tales, a schoolteacher indulges for one traumatic day in the luxury of telling the truth; a nervous small boy, forced to sleep alone to prove his courage, catches a burglar; a browbeaten clerk triumphs over his stars, and a ghost is laid to rest. Outstanding in this superb book is the masterpiece A Horse and Two Goats, drawn from a collection now no longer available, and the marvelous title story, about the divine gift of storytelling itself. Like the storyteller in Under the Banyan Tree, R K Narayan is an enchanter, a weaver of words who keeps his audience spellbound with the rhythms and haunting images of his tales. Drawn from the market-place, the mountainside, the dusty street, the river bank, these gentle, ironic, finely observed stories of village and city life demonstrate the power of fiction at its best.