The Dark Room is a fictional novel written by author R.K. Narayanan. It is set in the fictitious yet famous town of Malgudi and revolves around the lives of two women in a patriarchal society who depend on men for survival. Savitri, as the name suggests is a devoted and obedient housewife who never had the freedom to get herself educated. Her husband, Ramani, is an employee of an insurance company and together they have three children. Savitri is a typical housewife who is dominated by her husband and often neglected. Her submissive behaviour often leads her to bear Ramani's various insults and criticisms. However, she manages to survive within the confines of her home until her husband starts having an affair with a woman named Shanta Bai.
Shanta Bai is the polar opposite of Savitri as a character. She is an insurance probationer in Ramani's company and is rebellious and intimidating. Although she is incompetent in her work, she manages to woo Ramani using her charms. Unable to accept her husband's infidelity, Savitri locks herself in a dark room in her house and tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide. Finally, Savitri decides to fight back and even though a part of her is dead for having accepted defeat, she refuses to be the submissive woman she used to be.
The Dark Room published by R.K. Narayanan in 1956 continues to have the same impact as it did 58 years ago. The book has been critically acclaimed and has received positive reviews by The Observer and New York Review of Books. The author, R.K. Narayanan, is widely considered to be one of the leading figures in Indian Literature, in English. His most famous books include bestsellers such as Swami and Friends, The English Teacher and The Bachelor of Arts. In a career spanning sixty years, R.K. Narayanan has received many awards including the Padma Vibhushan in 1964.
In The Dark Room, R.K. Narayanan sheds light on the problems of unfair conservatism of a patriarchal society in a simple and unambiguous language. Feel free to order online the paperback edition of The Dark Room. This paperback edition is available with the ISBN-10 number of 8185986029 and ISBN-13 number of 978-8185986029.