R.K. Narayan does not write in a particularly complicated way. He was fluent in English and was one of the founders of English language Indian literature (or so the Internet tells me), and the simplicity of writing is deceptive. The focus instead is on the lives of the characters, their inner thoughts and emotions, and their way of life. The English Teacher is about an English teacher, who has been working away from his young family for a while at a university in the Malgudi universe, the setting of many of Narayan's other works. He has been reluctant to assume familial responsibilities as he has been enjoying the equivalent of student housing on his own. However, his wife and young daughter soon move in to a rental house Krishna must find on his time off from teaching. This young family is very middle class, working hard at finding a suitable house and making sure that Krishna, the title character, is bonding with his daughter. They are just starting out when disaster strikes. When shopping for an new home, Krishna's wife goes into a traumatizingly dirty bathroom and a fly lands on her lips. Possibly just another case of a woman freaking out at a mess, right? Wrong. This incident is the best explanation for where she catches typhoid, a major turning point in all of their lives. The illness of Krishna's wife and how he deals with it touches upon the simple but truthful elements that Narayan always includes in his novels. How Narayan is able to capture such universal and relatable feelings with a minimum of words and with characters from one particular corner of the world is incredible, and this is probably my favorite of his novels now.