The Painter of Signs tell us the story of Raman, a young painter of signboards, a bachelor who glories in his old-fashioned independence, whose work takes him all over Malgudi, and requires him to do business with some of the city’s most important, as well as its most absurd, tradesmen. Raman is polite and businesslike with everyone-but underneath the small talk he conducts a quizzical dialogue with himself about his fellow humans and the meaning of their lives.
Enter Daisy- an unlikely name for the ruthless but very attractive young woman who commissions Raman, on behalf of the population clinic she runs, to paint signs advocating two-child families.Together they travel around the neighboring country villages where Daisy preaches birth control. Raman is appalled by the hard-edged zeal she brings to her work, just as he is enthralled by her beauty and mysterious independence of spirit. They are obviously made for each other. Or are they?
In this sardonic bittersweet tale of love in modern India,R.K.Narayan has created two of fiction’s most endearing and unique young lovers, and an unsettling story about India at its best and worst.
‘Narayan’s novels have a humanity,an irony and a bittersweet charm that makes them utterly distinctive. The Painter of Signs is an enchanting tale.’
– Publishers Weekly
‘It is a world as richly human and volatile as that of Dickens… Funny and poignant,deftly written, The Painter of Signs is pure delight.’
-New York Times Book Review