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R.K. Narayan

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R.K. Narayan (born October 10, 1906, Madras [Chennai], India—died May 13, 2001, Madras) was one of the finest Indian authors of his generation writing in English.

Reared by his grandmother, Narayan completed his education in 1930 and briefly worked as a teacher before deciding to devote himself to writing. His first novel , Swami and Friends (1935), is an episodic narrative recounting the adventures of a group of schoolboys. That book and much of Narayan’s later works are set in the fictitious South Indian town of Malgudi. Narayan typically portrays the peculiarities of human relationships and the ironies of Indian daily life, in which modern urban existence clashes with ancient tradition. His style is graceful, marked by genial humour, elegance, and simplicity.

Among the best-received of Narayan’s 34 novels are The English Teacher (1945), Waiting for the Mahatma (1955), The Guide (1958), The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1961), The Vendor of Sweets (1967), and A Tiger for Malgudi (1983). Narayan also wrote a number of short stories; collections include Lawley Road (1956), A Horse and Two Goats and Other Stories (1970), Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories (1985), and The Grandmother’s Tale (1993). In addition to works of nonfiction (chiefly memoirs), he also published shortened modern prose versions of two Indian epics, The Ramayana (1972) and The Mahabharata (1978).

R. K. Narayan Biography

Birthday: October 10 , 1906 ( Libra )

Born In: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

R. K. Narayan is considered as one of leading figures of early Indian literature in English. He is the one who made India accessible to the people in foreign countries—he gave unfamiliar people a window to peep into Indian culture and sensibilities. His simple and modest writing style is often compared to that of the great American author William Faulkner. Narayan came from a humble south Indian background where he was consistently encouraged to involve himself into literature. Which is why, after finishing his graduation, he decided to stay at home and write. His work involves novels like: ‘The Guide’, ‘The Financial Man’, ‘Mr. Sampath’, ‘The Dark Room’, ‘The English Teacher’, ‘A Tiger for Malgudi’, etc. Although Narayan’s contribution to the Indian literature is beyond description and the way he grabbed foreign audience’s attention for Indian literature is commendable too but he will always be remembered for the invention of Malgudi, a semi-urban fictional town in southern India where most of his stories were set. Narayan won numerous accolades for his literary work: Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Bhushan, AC Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature, honorary membership of the American Academy of Arts and Literature, Padma Vibhushan, etc.

R. K. Narayan

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Also Known As: Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami

Died At Age: 94

Born Country: India

Quotes By R. K. Narayan Novelists

Died on: May 13 , 2001

place of death: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Notable Alumni: Maharaja's College, Mysore

City: Chennai, India

education: Maharaja's College, Mysore

awards: Sahitya Akademi Award (1958) Padma Bhushan (1964) AC Benson Medal by the British Royal Society of Literature (1980) Padma Vibhushan (2001)

You wanted to know

What are some key themes in r. k. narayan's works.

Some key themes in R. K. Narayan's works include the clash between tradition and modernity, the complexities of human relationships, the struggles of ordinary individuals in a changing society, and the significance of everyday life and experiences.

What is the significance of Malgudi in R. K. Narayan's writings?

Malgudi serves as a fictional town created by R. K. Narayan as the setting for many of his novels and short stories. It represents a microcosm of Indian society, allowing Narayan to explore universal themes through the lives of its diverse inhabitants.

How did R. K. Narayan's writing style contribute to the popularity of his works?

R. K. Narayan's writing style, characterized by its simplicity, humor, and vivid portrayal of everyday life, resonated with readers from various backgrounds. His storytelling ability and authentic depiction of Indian culture drew widespread acclaim and contributed to the enduring popularity of his works.

What role did humor play in R. K. Narayan's storytelling?

Humor was a significant element in R. K. Narayan's storytelling, often used to highlight the idiosyncrasies of human behavior and society. His witty observations and satirical tone added depth to his narratives, making his works both entertaining and thought-provoking.

How did R. K. Narayan contribute to the development of Indian literature in English?

R. K. Narayan is regarded as a pioneering figure in Indian literature in English for his authentic portrayal of Indian life and culture. By capturing the nuances of everyday experiences and the complexities of human relationships, he helped establish a distinct voice for Indian writers in the global literary landscape.

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Narayan was known for his simple and unassuming lifestyle, often wearing a traditional Indian dhoti and kurta.

Despite being a prolific writer, Narayan did not have a formal education in literature or creative writing. He learned English on his own and started writing stories at a young age.

Narayan was a keen observer of human behavior and often drew inspiration for his characters and stories from the people he encountered in his hometown of Malgudi.

He had a great sense of humor and often infused his writing with wit and satire, making his stories both engaging and thought-provoking.

Narayan was a disciplined writer, following a strict routine of writing every morning and revising his work in the afternoons. This dedication to his craft contributed to his success as a renowned author.

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R. K. Narayan

R. k. narayan’s biography, early writing, first novel.

For instance, it was the first work in which Narayan set his story in the fictive town of Malgudi.

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Publication of first novel, narayan’s rising success.

After the first book, Greene began to counsel Narayan about how to write to gain the attention of the English audience. He also advised him to shorten his name according to the demand of English readers.

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Busy career, beginning of mythological career, end of career.

Furthermore, in 1980, Narayan became a part of the Indian parliament and served in education for 6 years. From this time till death, he wrote abundantly. His final book was “Grandmother’s Tale”, a novella based upon Narayan’s childhood recollection of his grandmother’s tale about his great-grandmother. 

R. K. Narayan’s Writing Style

Natural and unpretentious, compassionate representations, depiction of true indian society, short stories style, descriptive and objective style.

This gives the narrative a realistic and genuine representation. His work has a unique capability to intertwine actions and characters through his attitude towards the ways of life.

Themes in R. K. Narayan’s Writings

Misery and suffering of man, animal sympathy.

In his works, Narayan exhibits the intricacies of animal life and shows his understanding of their emotions in beautifully created stories.

Children Innocence and Mischiefs

Unemployment issues.

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Biography of R K Narayan

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami (RK Narayan) was a well-known Indian writer famous for his set of work and writing in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. He was one of the leading and famous authors of early Indian literature written in English along with two others, Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao.

Narayan's greatest achievement was to make India accessible to the outside world through his writing and powerful words in his literature. Narayan's biography is always centered on his friendship with Graham Greene. Because he was Narayan's mentor and close friend. He was actively involved in identifying and getting publishers for Narayan's first four books. 

In 1941, he founded his own publishing house and his works quickly found a permanent and favorite place in the bookshelves of almost all the Indian homes. When he was at the peak of his fame in his successful career, Narayan was then awarded a Padma Bhushan in 1964 and 36 years later, just a year before his death at 94, another prestigious Padma Vibhushan award in 2000. Narayan was critically ill and hospitalized with cardiovascular problems two weeks ago in Madras, the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where he was born in 1906.

Early Life 

Narayan was born in 1906 in Madras (now renamed and known as Chennai, Tamil Nadu), British India into a normal Hindu family. He was one of eight children his parents have had and Narayan was second among the sons; his younger brother Ramachandran was an editor at Gemini Studios, and the youngest brother Laxman was a successful cartoonist. 

Narayan spent the early years of his life in Madras in the care of his grandmother and a maternal uncle and joined his parents mainly only during the vacations. At that time, India was still treated as the most important of the British empire, a colony held since 1857.

RK Narayan attended a number of schools than a usual student would as in Madras while living with his grandmother, in which the main school was the Lutheran Mission School in Purasawalkam, C.R.C. High School, and Christian College High School. Narayan was an ardent and passionate reader who grew up reading Dickens, Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Thomas Hardy.

After completing high school, Narayan failed the university entrance examination unfortunately but got to have lots of time to spend a year at home reading and writing; and then he successfully passed the final examination in 1926 and joined Maharaja College of Mysore.

RK Narayan was always found devoted and dedicated to reading whenever he got time.

Awards and Honors

Among the best works of RK Narayan among his 34 novels, The English Teacher (1945), Waiting for the Mahatma (1955), The Guide (1958), The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1961), The Vendor of Sweets (1967), and A Tiger for Malgudi (1983) were the best.

His novel The Guide (1958) won him the most prestigious National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, which was his country's highest honor. Narayan received many other awards and honors including the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature, the Padma Vibhushan, and the Padma Bhushan, India's second and third highest civilian awards, and in 1994 the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest honor of India's national academy of letters. He was also once nominated to the Rajya Sabha, which is the upper house of India's parliament.

To know more about RK Narayanan, log into Vedantu and find out what the experts have to say about this legend. His creations have made him an immortal figure in Indian literature that every booklover, irrespective of age, admires.

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FAQs on R K Narayan Biography

1. Who is RK Narayan?

RK Narayan was one of the most important English-language Indian fiction authors. He is widely regarded as one of India's best novelists. He created a realistic and immersive experience for his audience by bringing small-town India to them.

2. When and Where Was RK Narayan Born?

RK Narayan was born on 10 October 1906 in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India into an Iyer Vadama Brahmin family.

3. Which Was the First Book Published by RK Narayan?

Swami and Friends was RK Narayan's first book, published in 1930. The novel was based on several incidents from his own childhood and was semi-autobiographical. It is still one of the most recommended English readers in Indian schools.

4. What is the difference between Biography and Autobiography?

A biography is often written on account of a person's whole life, which will be framed and written by someone else. On the other hand, an autobiography is also written on account of a person's life but will be written by that person himself from his own point of view. Vedantu's website has been designed to help you find both biographical and autobiographical information in many different formats through online libraries. You can refer to the material and learn about all the great people who have marked their names in history with the help of Vedantu at the comfort of your home.

5. What are the types of Biography?

There are four classic and informative types of biographies they are historical fiction, academic, fictional academic, and prophetic biography. A historical fiction type of biography is a creative account inspired by the events of a person’s life. Academic biographies are based on documented facts and noted accomplishments of a person’s life. A fictional academic biography often tries to combine the best and interesting elements of the fictional biography (entertainment with a strong theme and storyline) and the academic biography (with factual accuracy as well). And a prophetic biography begins with retelling the regular academic approach of considering all the known facts which have been already framed.

6. Why is reading a biography really important?

Biographies help us gain insight and deep knowledge into how successful people handle crises and solve complex problems in their times. They will gradually invite us into people's lives, allowing us to observe them as they battle with challenges and make important decisions at right time. This ultimately helps the reader to greater understanding and better decision making in their own lives. Not all individuals are the same everyone has their own experience and knowledge but biographies of great people who have achieved a lot can always guide you on the right path.

7. How do students benefit from reading biographies?

Biographies help students understand the history and life experiences through another person's perspective, which may encourage them to ask more questions and learn even more. Biographies often serve as a starting point for learning more about a passion at an early age which helps them in choosing their career. Basically, while reading a biography or an autobiography, you get to learn about what an individual has been through, and more often their life experiences at every stage. Since it is believed that human life and psychology are in similarity you can easily relate with those individuals and put yourself in their shoes to understand the experience better.

8. Does reading History help us in our daily life?

Knowing the past is extremely important for any society and human being to know what has happened in their past and which person has invented or created memorable and historic moments. Past gives us insights into our evolving behavior and basic character in matters of life, love, mutuality, war, diplomacy, and peace. It provides insights in-depth understanding into the processes and events of the past and interconnects them with our current life. History serves as a Warning to avoid any mistakes that have been done in the past and gives us a second chance to live our lives even better in our present.

write a short biography of rk narayan

R K Narayan

R K Narayan is one of the few novelists of India who enjoyed a career-long fame and honour without any disputes. His reader base as well as his critics, seldom of them you would find hostile towards him or any of his books. Written around 15 novels and several books in other genres, R K Narayan is best remembered for his novels which revolved around and evolved in Malgudi. Malgudi was a hypothetical south Indian town which Narayan developed in his novels and gave it shape as his career furthered.

R K Narayan

Born in 1906 in Madras, he was a man of his belief. Nevertheless, he always exposed the unnecessary and no longer relevant practices in Indian society. As a novelist, he was progressive and always tried to provide ‘better than the previous’ things in his novels, and at times, he succeeded as well. His contribution to the Indian English Literature is unparalleled and subsequently, R K Narayan was awarded Padma Bhusshan and Padma Vibhushan award by the Indian government.

His career as a novelist began in 1935 with the publication of his first novel – Swami and Friends. This novel, mostly the critics claim, simply came out because of his memories and narration which involved his personal experiences and thus being an autobiographical novel to some extent. Nevertheless, this novel annunciated his arrival on the horizon of Indian writing in English. His second novel – The Bachelor of Arts, certainly better than his previous one, reinforced his place. This novel tells the story of Chandran, a fresh graduate, who is unable to find stability in his life. As a twist or say for the sake of exposing the ‘traditionally dogmatic practices’ Narayan introduces two love stories in the novel. One fails because of horoscope and another begins with horoscope at the end.

He has written over 15 novels (nearly) but he is remembered and regarded high mainly because of the novels stated below:

  • The Guide (1958)
  • Talkative Man (1986)
  • Waiting for the Mahatma (1955)
  • The English Teacher (1945)
  • The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1961)

His novels exhibited a kind of subtle atmosphere very much apt for the kind of fiction R K Narayan wrote. The presence of dynamic Malgudi in the backdrop added soul to his plots as well his characters were, most of the times, animated and breathing. He wrote about the life of common people and the plight that the had to face every day. Social fabric in his novels was attached and detached according to the demand of the plot. From the theme of love to the theme of independence, he wrote almost every kind of novels. Rightly so, today he is regarded as one of the three pillars of the Indian English fiction.

The place that R K Narayan occupies in Indian English literature is hailed by the critics in India as well as other countries. He set the stage open for the authors to come and display their creative skills. To conclude, he was very essential phenomenon for Indian English writing and helped us get global with ‘our say’ in fiction.

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(1906–2001). R.K. Narayan was one of the best known and most esteemed Indians writing in English. He was essentially a storyteller and he did not blaze new trails in fiction writing, but he tried to convey a sense of the land and the people he knew so well. He was sometimes compared to the United States writer William Faulkner , who also drew elaborate stories out of his own regional experience.

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Ayyar Narayanswami was born in Madras, India, on Oct. 10, 1906. He was raised by his grandmother. He studied at Maharajah College in Mysore, which is now the University of Mysore, and graduated from there in 1930. Narayan worked as a teacher, but he left that profession to write full-time. He published his first novel, Swami and Friends , in 1935. It told of a group of boys in the fictional southern Indian town of Malgudi. The town was the setting for many of Narayan’s subsequent works. His friend Graham Greene recommended his work to a publisher, and he suggested that the author shorten his name to R.K. Narayan at the time that Swami and Friends was published.

Narayan’s works included novels, short-story collections, essays, and translations of Indian epics. His richly painted novels included The English Teacher (1945), which explored the pain Narayan experienced after the death of his young wife; Waiting for the Mahatma (1955); The Guide (1958); The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1961); Gods, Demons, and Others (1965); The Vendor of Sweets (1967); A Tiger for Malgudi (1983); Talkative Man (1986); The World of Nagaraj (1990); and The Grandmother’s Tale (1995). His best-known story collections included Lawley Road (1956); A Horse and Two Goats and Other Stories (1970); Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories (1985); and A Storyteller’s World (1989). Many of the short stories were originally written for the Madras newspaper The Hindu . Narayan was praised for his prose versions of The Ramayana (1972) and The Mahabharata (1978). In 1974 he published My Days: A Memoir (1974).

Malgudi, the town Narayan invented and explored in his novels, became a part of Indian literary history. Readers felt as if they knew the town. It had strong similarities to the Madras of Narayan’s childhood and the Mysore of his later years. Themes of tradition versus individuality also pervaded Narayan’s work, along with the kinds of ironies people faced in their daily lives in India. Modern urban existence often did not seem natural in a life of tradition, but Narayan’s characters often lived simultaneously in the present and the past. His style was straightforward and graceful, with a modest humor and a marked elegance.

Narayan did not consider himself to be a devout Hindu, but spirituality was present in the lives of his characters. The author’s works were translated into every European language as well as Hebrew. His prose was flavorful and quite distinct from American or British English. Most Indian writers of his stature traveled abroad for long periods of time to write, lecture, and teach, but Narayan did not. On a rare visit to a foreign country, the United States, Narayan wrote an essay that angered some expatriate Indians living there. “My America” left the impression that Indian citizens who left India to build a life in the United States had abandoned the beauty, simplicity, and spirituality of their homeland.

His awards included the national prize of the Indian literary academy, Sahitya Akademi, in 1958 for The Guide . In 1964 Narayan received the Padma Bhushan, a coveted Indian award for distinguished service to literature. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Several seats in India’s Parliament were reserved for those who had achieved distinction in the arts, sciences, or literature. In 1989 Narayan was named to one of those seats in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), the nonelective house of Parliament in India. He died on May 13, 2001, in Chennai, India.

Additional Reading

Badal, R.K. R.K. Narayan: A Study (Prakash Book Depot, 1976). Hariprasanna, A. The World of Malgudi, (Prestige, 1994). Pontes, Hilda. R.K. Narayan (Concept, 1983). Ram, Susan, and Ram, N. R.K. Narayan: Early Years 1906–1945 (Penguin, 1996). Sharan, N.N. A Critical Study of the Novels of R.K. Narayan (Classical Pub., 1993).

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R K Narayan Biography in English

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, known as RK Narayan , was a renowned Indian writer celebrated for his body of work set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. He was among the prominent early Indian authors who wrote in English, alongside Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao.

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Narayan’s significant accomplishment was introducing India to the world through his compelling literature. His biography often highlights his close friendship with Graham Greene, who served as his mentor and helped him secure publishers for his first four books. In 1941, Narayan established his own publishing company, and his books became favorites in Indian households.

During the pinnacle of R K Narayan’s successful career, R K Narayan received the Padma Bhushan award in 1964 and, 36 years later, the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2000, just a year before his passing at 94 age. R K Narayan, who was born in 1906 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, fell critically ill due to cardiovascular problems and he was hospitalized two weeks before his demise.

R K Narayan Biography

R K Narayan Early Life

R K Narayan was born in 1906 in Madras (now known as Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) to a regular Hindu family. He was one of eight children, the second among the sons. R K Narayan younger brother Ramachandran worked as an editor at Gemini Studios, and the youngest brother, Laxman, had a successful career as a cartoonist.

During his early years, R K Narayan mostly lived in Madras with his grandmother and maternal uncle, reuniting with his parents only during holidays. At that time, India was still under British rule, as it had been since 1857.

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R K Narayan Education

R K Narayan attended several schools, including the C.R.C. High School, Christian College High School in Madras, and Lutheran Mission School in Purasawalkam where he lived with his grandmother. R K Narayan is an avid reader and enjoyed books by authors like Wodehouse, Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Although he didn’t pass the university entrance exam after high school, Narayan had a year at home to read and write before successfully passing the final exam in 1926. He then enrolled at Maharaja College of Mysore. Throughout his life, he remained devoted to reading whenever he had the opportunity.

R K Narayan Parents

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, known as RK Narayan parents played an important role in his entire life. His father, Krishnaswami Iyer, was a schoolteacher, and his mother, Gnanambal, was a housewife. They lived in Madras, India.

R K Narayan parents were supportive of his education, and they also encouraged his love for reading and writing from a young age. They recognized his passion for books and storytelling. His father, being a teacher, likely influenced Narayan’s interest in literature and language.

While Narayan’s parents provided a nurturing environment for his intellectual pursuits, they also faced challenges. The family had financial struggles at times, which influenced Narayan’s own experiences and his portrayal of economic themes in his novels.

Despite their modest means, R K Narayan parents instilled in him the values of hard work, perseverance, and the importance of education. These values became evident in his writings and as well as characters, who often grappled with life’s challenges and choices.

In summary, R K Narayan’s parents were a source of inspiration and support in his life, shaping his love for literature and guiding him towards becoming one of India’s most renowned authors.

R K Narayan Awards and Honors

Among RK Narayan’s 34 novels , notable works consists of “Waiting for the Mahatma” (1955), “The English Teacher” (1945), “The Guide” (1958), “The Vendor of Sweets” (1967), “The Man-Eater of Malgudi” (1961), and “A Tiger for Malgudi” (1983).

RK Narayan novel “The Guide” (1958) earned “ prestigious National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy “, “ the highest literary honor in his country “. RK Narayan also received other accolades, such as the Padma Vibhushan, AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature, and the Padma Bhushan, which are among India’s top civilian awards. In 1994, he was honored with the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the most esteemed recognition from India’s national academy of letters. Additionally, he was once nominated to the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper parliamentary house.

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R K Narayan Biography Summary

R K Narayan Biography

FAQs on R K Narayan Biography

Why is rk narayan so famous.

RK Narayan is famous for his captivating storytelling and his portrayal of everyday Indian life in his novels.

What is a short biography about RK Narayan?

RK Narayan, born in 1906 in Chennai, was a renowned Indian author known for his Malgudi series of novels and short stories.

What is the most famous work of RK Narayan?

The most famous work of RK Narayan is Swami and Friends, the first novel in the Malgudi series.

Who is the first English writer in India?

The first English writer in India is often attributed to be Raja Ram Mohan Roy, known for his advocacy of social reform and literature in the early 19th century.

What we learn from R. K. Narayan?

From RK Narayan's works, we learn about the complexities of human relationships, the humor in everyday life, and the cultural nuances of South India.

What inspired R. K. Narayan to write?

RK Narayan was inspired to write by his deep love for literature and his observations of the people and culture of India.

What are the qualities of R. K. Narayan?

The qualities of RK Narayan's writing include wit, humor, vivid character portrayal, and a deep understanding of human nature.

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The Criterion: An International Journal in English

Bi-Monthly, Peer-reviewed and Indexed Open Access eJournal ISSN: 0976-8165

The Criterion: An International Journal in English

R.K.Narayan: The Grand Old Man of Indian Fiction

Showkat Hussain Dar

(ex-student, Central University of Kashmir) Country: India(Jammu And Kashmir)

This is an axiomatic fact that the Indian fiction in English is the most popular of all forms and has gone ‘transnational’ with Indian diasporic living in the West and writing beyond nationality. The Big Three phrase coined by William Walsh comprises of Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao and R. K. Narayan, have helped to lift this form to International status and recognition. The influence of their importance in the world of the Indian English novel cannot be measured. With Anand’s Untouchable , Narayan’s Sawami and Friends and Rao’s Kanthapura , the Indian English novel found its place in the gummut of Indian Literature.

R. K. Narayan is one of the leading figures in Indo-Anglian fiction. He is a pure artist. He is the only major writer in Indo-Anglian fiction who is free from didacticism. He is neither a spiritualist nor a social reformer nor a pure writer of comedies. He is an observer of life as it appears to him. His works are neither purely tragic nor purely comic. It is the mixture of the two. He believes in domestic harmony and peaceful relations.

R. K. Narayan is the creator of regional novel in Indian English Literature. The imaginative region of Malgudi is the domain of Narayan’s imagination. Wordsworth immortalized The District Lake in his poetry, and Hardy’s Wessex is a district more real than the present district of England. In the same way, Narayan’s Malgudi is a reality charged with all that is intimate and poignant in human nature. His characters are the true children of Malgudu . His characters reveal a definite journey of the self from innocence to experience and eventually to wisdom. His characters and plots are inseparably knit together. His works reveal his comic vision of life through irony and paradox. Narayan’s command over language is remarkable and he used it as the medium of story-telling in a simple, lucid and unaffected manner.

The Indian English fiction took the later start, yet it has gone far ahead of poetry both in quantity and quality. It was only with the Gandhian struggle that Indo-English novel really came to its own. With the publication of Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable , Raja Roa’s, Kanthapura , and

R. K. Narayan’s Swami and Friends that the novel in English may be said to have come of age. These three novelists have considerably enriched Indo-Anglian fiction. They are also known as the “founding fathers” of Indian-English fiction for whom the art were as important as the communication it sought to convey.

R. K. Narayan is widely regarded as India’s greatest writer in English of the 20th century. He was a pure artist whose sole aim was to give aesthetic satisfaction. Graham Greene the renowned English novelist with whom Narayan enjoyed a life-long literary friendship appreciates the Narayan’s art as “underlying sense of beauty and sadness” of his work is parallel with Chekhov.Greene further writes about his friend, “

Narayan wakes in me a spring of gratitude…without him I could never have known what it is like to be Indian”.

Alfred Kazin estimates Narayan and his art in one of his reviews as,

“Mr. Narayan is an almost placid, good natured story teller whose work derives its charm from the immense calm out of which he writes. Mr. Narayan’s strength is that his material

seems inexhaustible. But there are levels of irony, subtle inflexions and modulations in his easy, transparent style.”

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan popularly known as R. K. Narayan was born in 1906 in Madras. It is bit surprising that one of the most successful Indo-Anglian writers wasn’t a good student. He failed both in High School and inter-mediate examinations and could get his degree only when he was twenty-four years old. As a result of these failures his personality was adversely affected and he became somewhat an introvert. These failures at school and college made him shy, reserved and diffident. He even tried to commit suicide once.

In order to supplement the meager income of the family, he worked as clerk and then took up the job of a teacher in a village school. But he was not satisfied with these professions and gave them up in desperation and decided to devote all his time for writing. He did not then expect to make money out of his writings but a mean for self expression. This all stands to reason in his first work. His first work was the review of a book titled Development of Maritime laws of 17th-Century England. He is rather cynical about it and writes,

“A most unattractive book, but I struggled through its pages and wrote a brief note on it, and though not paid for it, it afforded me the thrill of seeing my words in print for the first time.”

In those days it was unthinkable that an Indian could become a successful writer in English. Even his father did not like the idea of becoming a writer, considering the uncertainty involved in it. But Narayan was determined to become a writer and eventually proved how correct his decision was when he achieved tremendous success as a novelist and as a short-story writer.

R. K. Narayan wrote in English but attained popularity not only in India but in Europe for his sensitive observation of human nature. Most of his stories deal with Indian life and are written in a style which is both simple and lucid. Though he has written complete novels Like The Bachelor of Arts, Mr. Sampath, Swami and Friends, Waiting for Mahatma, Financial Expert but his magnum opus work is The Guide , for which he gained universal approbation. The novel became so popular that it was translated into number of languages in the world and even a film was made on it. Narayan’s genius was duly recognized when he was awarded Sahitya Academy Award for The Guide in 1960.But the writer is known for his short-stories and this has given him a permanent place in modern Indian English Literature. He has written more than one hundred and fifty short-stories. Some of them are Golden Belt, A Career, Man Hunt, End of troubles, The Snake Dogs , and A Hica . They were published in magazines and newspapers.

The stories of R. K. Narayan are chiefly plot stories. Not so much emphasis was laid upon incidents and characterization but in depicting the happening of day in day out life. His stories are ordinary occurrences yet they are profound in their affect. He only recreates the atmosphere in simple language and collecting details and thereby creating a lively tale of human experience.

R. K. Narayan was a conscious story-writer. He pursues his art with seriousness and dedication.His task was the faithful presentation of life which was purely Indian. His stories are free from artificiality and superfluous details. He appears to write with a set formula, working out on the details painstakingly, however, that does not undermine the naturalness of his narrative. It was able to depict something which was purely Indian.

Narayan didn’t follow the European style of story writing but bears affinities with American short-story writer O Henry. His stories have a tail and aim at surprising ending. He is a skillful narrator of factual and human scenes. His narration is direct, simple and pointed.

Narayan is regarded as a pure artist, especially, when compared with his contemporaries like Raja Rao and Mulk Raj Anand. His is ‘art for art’s sake’. He didn’t write to propagate his ideas on social or political issues though when he started his literary career India was passing through the crucial period of her struggle for independence.

Narayan experienced a jolt when Rajam, his sweet heart, died of typhoid, only five years after their marriage. Her death was a shattering for the young writer. It was probably this tragic incident which gave maturity and depth to his character. This made him understand the harsh realities of life. Knowledge comes through intense suffering and Narayan must have gained knowledge by his personal suffering. His grief and suffering find expression in many of his works.

Narayan is one of the Indian greatest English writers of the last century. It was the television adaptation of his stories, his fictional town, Malgudi , that has left a permanent mark on psyche of Indian fiction readers. He takes us to Malgudi laugh, sympathise and share the vicissitudes of its inhabitants. Malgudi is as remarkable a place in literature as The Wessex of Hardy, Boarder countries of Scott or The Lake District of Wordsworth.

R K Narayan started his career as a novelist dealing primarily with the atmosphere of schools and colleges. Therefore, in all of his early novels there are mostly school boys, teachers, college boys and college teachers. His early novels include Sawami and Friends , The Bachelor of Arts, The Dark Room , and The English Teacher . The novels present a sociological study of the pre-independence era. The middle novels of Narayan except ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’ (depicts socio-political conditions of post 1947), are the delightful stories of three cunning sharks whose greatest fault was their over-confidence. In the middle novels we have Mr. Sampath, Financial Expert and The Guide . The later novels are based on the classical myths-the inevitable victory of the good over the evil, the law of life and concept of karama, the concept of cyclical existence and the four stages of human life. The later novels The Man-Eater of Malgudi, The Vendor of Sweets, The Painter of Signs and A Tiger for Malgudi embody the religious and cultural glory of Hindu society. The novels are marked with maturity in fictional imagination.

Narayan is a writer who has his limitations too. He presents a wide range of characters in his novels and short-stories. There are no “good” or “bad” characters in his works. The widespread and universal appeal of Narayan is due to the predominant middle class milieu in all his novels. Unlike Anand and Rao, he is not interested in politics. He is content like Jane Austen with his little bit ivory. But within his limitations Narayan is an exquisite master of the art of story-telling. We like him for his excellent plots, captivating characterization, lyrical language, sharp irony, wit and humour technique in unfolding the mysteries of human nature in his novels and short stories. His novels mirror microcosmic India caught in the conventions, traditions and social changes. His characters are lively presentations of common Indians. His heroines are replicas of common Indian women. Despite a pure Indian living absorbed in religion and family, he achieved a feat to express his creative urge in an alien language and has become virtually craze in European countries.

R. K. Narayan is not only a great novelist, but also a contented and simple man. The remarkable simplicity in his personal life, as experienced by K.Natwar Singh, is noteworthy to be mentioned here:

“I walked up the steps and met by a small man in a shirt and lungi-no shoes. Excuse me, but can you tell me if Mr. R K Narayan lives here? yes, he does, replies the barefooted man I asked if could see him. You are doing so right now—Iam R. K. Narayan”.

  • K. Narayan won numerous covetous awards for his tremendous contribution to Indian English Literature. Besides Sahitya Academy Award for the novel The Guide , he was able to receive the Film Fare Award. In 1964, he was awarded the Padma Bushan and in 1980 he got AC Benson Medal by the British Royal Society. It is notable that he was a member of Royal Society of Literature (British). In 1970, he received the honorary doctorates from the University of Leeds. In 1982, he was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It is very remarkable that he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for many times but unfortunately he never received the honor. In 2002, he was given India’s second- highest civilian award, the Padma Vibushan. This genius writer died at the age of 94 on 13 May in 2001 after getting the lofty height of success.

Works Cited:

The Guide by R K Narayan, Dr. S Sen Gupta, Unique publishers New Delhi, 2009

The Novels of R. K. Narayan, A Critical Evaluation by P. K. Singh, Atlantic Publishers New Delhi, 2001

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  • R.K Narayan: The One Who Created Malgudi

R.K Narayan: The One Who Created Malgudi  Blogs Home

  • 14 Oct 2022

write a short biography of rk narayan

R.K. Narayan, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami is a legendary writer of early Indian English literature. Being a writer of fiction, non-fiction and mythology, R.K. Narayan proposed a great range of pen work for his readers worldwide. His famous autobiographical trilogy of “Swami and friends”, “The Bachelor of Arts” and “The English teacher” are one of his finest pieces, even the famous fictional town of “Malgudi” was introduced in the book “Swami and friends”. His connection to his characters and highlighting of the social context got him a serious comparison with William Faulkner.

R.K. Narayan was born in a Tamil Brahmin family in Madras, colonised India. He was the second son among five others with two daughters. His father being a school headmaster, taught him in his early days. His elder brother Ramachandran became an editor at Gemini studios and his youngest brother Laxman became a cartoonist. Due to his father’s transfer to a different location for work-related reasons, he spent a good part of his childhood with his maternal grandmother, Parvati.

In 1933, Narayan fell in love with a 15-year-old girl, Rajam, whom he met while he was vacationing at his sister’s house in Coimbatore. They got married, and Narayan started working as the first Brahmin Iyer for a Madras-based paper called, The Justice, dedicated to the rights of Non-Brahmins which caused a thrill. The paper got him great contacts and a new vision for the surrounding issues. Meanwhile, the manuscript he sent to a friend at Oxford earlier got the attention of Graham Greene, who decided to get the book published. Finally, Swami and Friends was published in 1935; book was semi-autobiographical as it included incidents from Narayan’s childhood. Another recommendation of Greene led to the publishing of his second novel, ‘The Bachelor Of Arts’ in 1937, based upon his rebellious college adolescence to his cultivated adulthood. This year also led to a great loss for Narayan as he lost his father. In 1938, he published his third novel, ‘The Dark Room’, which showcased the domestic dissension of the man as the oppressor and the woman being trapped as a victim in the marriage. The following year 1939, he lost his wife, Rajam due to typhoid, which affected him deeply. His daughter Hema was too young for the loss, and Narayan never remarried his whole life. The loss of his wife brought a compelling change in his life and inspired his next novel, ‘The English Teacher.’ He mentioned this book was almost an autobiography and the emotions detailed reflected his own when he lost his wife.

He published his short story collection, ‘Malgudi Days’ in November of 1942, following the publication of ‘The English Teacher’ in 1945, and both of them turned out to be a huge success. Due to the war in 1945, he couldn’t publish from England, which made him start his own publishing company called Indian Thought Publications. This project was a huge success and is still active, managed by his granddaughter now.

The engrossed years

Narayan’s writing after The English Teacher got more imaginative and took a turn from the autobiographical tone of the earlier work. His next, ‘The Financial Expert’ is considered his masterpiece and one of the most original fiction works of 1951. The next novel, ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’ was based on the visit of Mahatma Gandhi to the fictional town of Malgudi.

1953, turned out to be a great year for Narayan’s career as his work was published in the United States of America for the first time by the Michigan State University Press. After his daughter's wedding, Narayan seemed to travel a lot while writing at least 1500 words a day even while on the road. Narayan had a daily journal which later added to his book, ‘My Dateless Diary.’ His book, ‘The Guide’ is the most representative of his writing and skills, for this book he won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1960. Narayan published another hit, ‘The Man-Eater of Malgudi’ in 1961, after which he resumed travelling. He went to Australia and U.S.A. He lectured about Indian Literature in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne for about three weeks, and the trip was funded by was Australian Writers’ Group. His success was treating him well, both literary and financially. He had a large house in Mysore, started writing for magazines and newspapers like The Hindu and The Atlantic, and drove a new Mercedes-Benz. His first mythological work was published in 1964, ‘Gods, Demons and Others’, a short story collection from Hindu epics. He published his next work in 1967, ‘The Vendor of Sweets.’ He also travelled to England this year, receiving his first honorary doctorate from the University of Leeds. He added more to his mythological work with, ‘The Ramayana’ (1972) and ‘The Mahabharata’ (1978).

Literary review

Narayan always relates with the reader when it comes to his writing. His technique contained ordinary connections and a natural element of humour. Critics compared Narayan with Chekhov due to his description of beauty and humour in tragedy. His writing tends to be descriptive rather than analytical which provides a more authentic and realistic narration. He always described the demands of society to be confusing a person’s individuality. He was very simple and realistic at capturing the elements of the situation very well on the paper

In May 2001, Narayan was hospitalised and died on the 13th of November, in Chennai at the age of 94. He won several awards and honours for his significant contribution to the literary world such as Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, AC Benson Medal, and multiple nominations for the Noble Prize in Literature. He was also nominated for the upper house of the Indian Parliament for a six-year term starting in 1989 for his outstanding contribution to Indian English literature.

In mid-2015, his former home in Mysore was converted into a museum in his honour. On 8 November 2019, BBC selected his book, Swami and Friends, as part of the 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

R.K. Narayan is one of the greatest writers of Indian Literature, contributing to the generational wealth of Indian Literature in English. He connected his readers with the surrounding world in a manner of humour yet reality. His work has been renowned worldwide and feeds those who want to see a change in society through the glass of a man who found compassionate humanism through the energy of ordinary life. Without showing the robustness of his characters he displayed the exact image of society on his pages. His work is a testament to one who wants to seek an avid range of fiction and non-fiction in the most resplendent bearing.

 Chirag Joon 

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write a short biography of rk narayan

R. K. Narayan Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

R. K. Narayan

R. K. Narayan (1966-2001) was an Indian writer and novelist. He was one of the renowned authors of the early Indian literature in English like Raja Rao and Mulk Raj Anand . He was also a short story writer, essayist, journalist, critic, memoirist, and an editor. He mainly wrote fiction, non-fiction, and mythology. His first published work was a book review of the Development of Maritime Laws of 17th-Century England. His first novel was ‘Swami and Friends (1935), and his last work was Grandmother’s Tale (1923). His written works include themes like myths, tradition and modernity, ancient India, and women’s position in society. R. K. Narayan died on 13 May 2001.

Wiki/Biography

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami was born on Wednesday, 10 October 1906 ( age 94 years; at the time of death ) in Madras, British India (now, Chennai, India). While living with his grandmother, R. K. Narayan attended several schools in Madras like Lutheran Mission School in Purasawalkam, C.R.C. High School, and Christian College High School. After completing high school, Narayan could not pass the university entrance examination and spent a year at home reading and writing. In 1926, he successfully passed the examination and enrolled in the B.A. program in English at Maharaja College, Mysore. It took him four years to complete his bachelor’s degree. After his father’s death in 1937, he held a job as a school teacher for a short period of time. He was aware of the value of education and criticized the educational system that colonialism had put. In his novel ‘The English Teacher,’ he talks about the education system and stated,

This education has reduced us to a nation of morons; we were strangers to our own culture and camp followers of another culture, feeding on leavings and garbage . . . What about our own roots? . . . I am up against the system, the whole method and approach of a system of education which makes us morons, cultural morons, but efficient clerks for all your business and administration offices.”

R. K. Narayan belonged to a Tamil Brahmin family.

Parents & Siblings

His father was a school headmaster, and due to his frequent transfers in his job, R. K. Narayan was sent to his maternal grandmother, Parvati, who taught him arithmetic, mythology, and Sanskrit. His grandmother used to call him by the nickname Kunjappa. In 1937, R. K. Narayan’s father died. R. K. Narayan was the third child in a family of eight children. His youngest brother, Laxman, became a cartoonist, and Ramachandran, his younger brother, became an editor at Gemini Studios.

R. K. Narayan and his family

R. K. Narayan and his family

Wife & Children

During his visit to his sister’s house in Coimbatore, R. K. Narayan fell in love with a 15-year-old girl, Rajam. Narayan got married to her in 1934. In 1939, Rajam died of typhoid. R. K. Narayan and Rajam had a daughter named Hema.

R. K. Narayan with his wife

R. K. Narayan with his wife

R. K. Narayan with his wife and daughter

R. K. Narayan with his wife and daughter

R. K. Narayan with his daughter

R. K. Narayan with his daughter

Signature/Autograph

R. K. Narayan's signature

In 1934, R. K. Narayan became a reporter for a Madras-based paper, The Justice, which was dedicated to the rights of non-Brahmins. R. K. Narayan’s next novel was The Bachelor of Arts (1937). His third novel, The Dark Room (1938), was based on a theme of domestic disharmony. His perspective of seeing the world was unique. He once said in his book ‘The Guide”-

In a world where we are accustomed to rivalries over possession, authority, and borders, and people clashing over the issue, “Ours,” or “Mine, not yours,” it is rather strange to find two people debating whose the kingdom is not, and asserting: “Yours, not mine.”

In his book ‘Malgudi Days,’ R.K. Narayan wrote,

We are a flawed, weak species, he gently reminds us in these pages, focusing his attention, clearly and without sentiment, on those who will stoop low, those who will stop at nothing. What makes us care for such frequently pathetic characters is that they, like most of the rest of us, are strivers, driven by hopes for a slightly better life.”
  • Swami and Friends (1935, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Bachelor of Arts (1937, Thomas Nelson)
  • The Dark Room (1938, Eyre)
  • The English Teacher (1945, Eyre)
  • Mr. Sampath (1948, Eyre)
  • The Financial Expert (1952, Methuen)
  • Waiting for the Mahatma (1955, Methuen)
  • The Guide (1958, Methuen)
  • The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1961, Viking)
  • The Vendor of Sweets (1967, The Bodley Head)
  • The Painter of Signs (1977, Heinemann)
  • A Tiger for Malgudi (1983, Heinemann)
  • Talkative Man (1986, Heinemann)
  • The World of Nagaraj (1990, Heinemann)

Swami and Friends by R.K. Narayan

Non Fiction Books

  • Next Sunday (1960, Indian Thought Publications)
  • My Dateless Diary (1960, Indian Thought Publications)
  • My Days (1973, Viking)
  • Reluctant Guru (1974, Orient Paperbacks)
  • The Emerald Route (1980, Indian Thought Publications)
  • A Writer’s Nightmare (1988, Penguin Books)
  • A Story-Teller’s World (1989, Penguin Books)
  • The Writerly Life (2001, Penguin Books India)

Reluctant Guru by R.K. Narayan

Mythology Books

  • Gods, Demons and Others (1964, Viking)
  • The Ramayana (1972, Chatto & Windus)

Gods, demons and others by R.K. Narayan

Short story collections

  • Malgudi Days (1942, Indian Thought Publications)
  • An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories (1947, Indian Thought Publications)
  • Lawley Road and Other Stories (1956, Indian Thought Publications)
  • A Horse and Two Goats (1970)
  • Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories (1985)

The man eater of Magudi by R.K. Narayan

  • In 1960, R. K. Narayan won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his book The Guide (1958). Later, a film with the same name, starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rahman, was made over this book for which R. K. Narayan received the Filmfare Award for the best story.
  • In 1964, R. K. Narayan was awarded the Padma Bhushan during Republic Day.
  • In 1980, he received the AC Benson Medal from the British Royal Society of Literature.
  • In 1986, R. K. Narayan was honoured by Rajyotsava Prashasti from the Government of Karnataka.

R. K. Narayan with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

R. K. Narayan with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

On 13 May 2001, he died of cardio-respiratory failure at the age of 94 in Chennai.

Facts/Trivia

  • In 1982, R. K. Narayan was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Google celebrated R. K. Narayan's 108th birthday with a doodle.

Google celebrated R. K. Narayan’s 108th birthday with a doodle.

R. K. Narayan's house

R. K. Narayan’s house (now a museum)

  • In 1980, R. K. Narayan was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
  • In 1986, an Indian television series, Malgudi Days, was aired on Doordarshan; it was filmed in both English (13 episodes) and Hindi (54 episodes). The television show was based on the 1943 short story collection with the same title by R. K. Narayan .
  • His short stories are often compared to Gue de Maupassant and William Faulkner for using a fictional town, humour, and compassion to showcase ordinary life.
  • R. K. Narayan’s mentor and friend Graham Greene was instrumental in getting publishers for Narayan’s first four books.
  • Miss Malini (1947) was the only film for which R. K. Narayan wrote the story. Sampat (1952) is an Indian satirical film, which is based on R. K. Narayan’s novel Mr. Sampat (1949).
  • This National Award-winning Kannada-language film Banker Margayya (1983), was based on the novel written by R. K. Narayan titled The Financial Expert (1952).
The actual writing of a book may not take much time, but its subject and scope take time to grow and settle in. Of course you don’t regard the story or characters separately, only as a totality if I may use that slightly pompous word.” [1] India Today
  • In 1968, his book The Guide was adapted into a Broadway play and was staged at Hudson Theatre. He was not happy with the film Guide, and he wrote a column in Life magazine titled The Misguided Guide.
  • BBC chose Swami and Friends, the first of trilogy of novels written by R. K. Narayan (1906–2001), as one of 100 novels That Shaped Our World.
  • R. K. Narayan’s first income from writing was nine rupees and twelve annas.
  • His first novel, ‘Swami and Friends,’ which he wrote in 1930, was rejected by several publishers.

References [+] [−]

References
1

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Biography of R. K. Narayan

R. K. Narayan, whose full name is Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan (originally, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayanswami), was born on October 10, 1906, in Madras (now known as Chennai), India. He is known as one of India's greatest English-language novelists, alongside Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. His father was a provincial headmaster and he had many siblings. He spent part of his childhood under the care of his maternal grandmother, who taught him arithmetic, classical Indian music, mythology, and Sanskrit. Narayan did not particularly like school, but he did love reading English literature, including Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and Arthur Conan Doyle. When he was 12 years old, he participated in a pro-independence march, for which he was reprimanded by his family. After initially failing the entrance exams, he entered university but decided against pursuing the Master of Arts, realizing that more schooling was not what he wanted. Instead, he took odd jobs such as writing for small journals and freelance literary work. Pieces he submitted to publishers in England were not accepted and he described the response as “cold, callous rejection slips, impersonal and mocking.”

Narayan’s breakthrough was with his first novel. Scholar Nandan Datta describes the process: “ Swami and Friends was completed and sent to publishers. It repeatedly returned. Narayan dispatched it yet another time and gave the return address as one of his friends in London. He wrote to the friend requesting the manuscript be tied to a brick and thrown into the Thames if it came back. It did. But the friend took it to his acquaintance Graham Greene, who was already an established author. Narayan received a telegram soon thereafter: ‘Novel taken. Graham Greene responsible.’” Narayan met Greene only once, in 1964, but the two of them corresponded for decades and became very close friends. It was at Greene’s advice that Narayan shortened his name.

In 1956, Narayan won a travel grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and said of his experience, “Finally I did break out of the triangular boundary of Madras, Mysore and Coimbatore and left for the United States, in October 1956.” He visited New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, and the Grand Canyon, and met Aldous Huxley, John Gunther, Greta Garbo, and more.

His first novel Swami and Friends (1935) and his second, The Bachelor of Arts (1937), are both set in Malgudi, a fictional town on the border between Mysore and Madras. Others set there include The Dark Room (1938), The English Teacher (1945), Mr. Sampath (1949), The Financial Expert (1952), The Guide (1958), The Man Eater of Malgudi (1961), The Vendor of Sweets (1967), The Painter of Signs (1977), A Tiger for Malgudi (1983), and Talkative Man (1986). He has also written five collections of short stories, including Malgudi Days , as well as multiple collections of essays, commentaries on the Indian epics, and a memoir, My Days .

Narayan was awarded the A.C. Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature in 1980. In 1981, he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Narayan died on May 13, 2001.

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Study Guides on Works by R. K. Narayan

The guide r. k. narayan.

Published in 1958, The Guide is a novel by Indian author R.K. Narayan set in his fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. It follows the life of an Indian man, Raju, as he evolves throughout his life to become one of the most prominent holy men in...

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Malgudi Days R. K. Narayan

Malgudi Days is a short-story collection by Indian writer R. K. Narayan. The book was initially published in 1943 in India by Indian Thought Publications. It was republished internationally by Penguin Classics in 1982.

The book follows the lives...

The Painter of Signs R. K. Narayan

The Painter of Signs (1976) is a novel by celebrated Indian author R. K. Narayan. It describes a tumultuous romance between a sign painter and a political activist.

The novel tells the story of a man named Raman, a perfectionist sign painter. He...

R.K. Narayan: Short Stories R. K. Narayan

If R.K. Narayan was to go by his given name, then the cover would be an appealing hodge-podge of letters; born Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanswami in 1906, Narayan quickly became one of India's most internationally-revered writers and was at...

Swami and Friends R. K. Narayan

Swami and Friends is an Indian book written in English published in 1935. The work was the first novel ever published by the famous Indian author R. K. Narayan. Narayan's friend, Graham Greene, recommended his manuscript to a publisher, and it was...

The Vendor of Sweets R. K. Narayan

The Vendor of Sweets is a novel by critically acclaimed Indian author R.K. Narayan. Set in India during the 1960s, It follows the life of a vendor of sweetmeats named Jagan as he tries to navigate a difficult relationship with his son Mali.

write a short biography of rk narayan

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  • > R. K. Narayan
  • > Introduction

write a short biography of rk narayan

Book contents

  • Frontmatter
  • Abbreviations Used
  • Acknowledgements
  • Series Editor's Preface
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Thoughtful Citizen: Narayan's Essays
  • 3 The Self and the World: Narayan's Memoirs, Travelogues and Guide Books
  • 4 Narayan's Short Fiction
  • 5 Narayan's Longer Fiction
  • 6 Thematic Concerns
  • 7 Caste, Class and Gender
  • 8 Form and Value in Narayan
  • 9 Conclusion
  • Topics for Discussion
  • Works Cited
  • Select Bibliography

1 - Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2014

R. K. Narayan was born on 10 October 1906 and passed away in 2001. In his long career he published fourteen novels, over two hundred short stories, a memoir, two travel books, innumerable essays, and two plays. His first novel was Swami and Friends (1935). His last published work was Grandmother's Tale (1992), which in many ways reinforced the concerns and motifs of his writing in his long career—themes like exile and return, education (in the widest sense of the term), woman and her status in the society, myths and the ancient Indian past, tradition and modernity, Malgudi and its culture, appearance and reality, the family and so on. These have been Narayan's consistent concerns in a career spanning over nearly seventy years. In this deep ploughing of a small plot of literary land, Narayan almost resembles Jane Austen who too, in a somewhat shorter career, painted in varying colours a small canvas of quintessential English life and manners. While the range of Austen or Narayan may be small, their depth places them in the ranks of the truly great novelists of their times. Perhaps no special case needs to be made for Austen because of the enormous scholarship on her. One might however need to highlight Narayan's excellences. In our postmodernist times a writer like him, who is not obscure, difficult or dense in his writings, is likely to be less in favour, though recent scholarship has begun to evaluate him in post-colonial-post-modern [‘pocomo’] terms.

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  • Introduction
  • Mohan G. Ramanan , Professor, Department of English, University of Hyderabad
  • Book: R. K. Narayan
  • Online publication: 05 March 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9789382993834.002

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RK Narayan Biography

RK Narayan was a famous Indian writer globally known for his fictional writings of Malgudi. He was born on the 10th of October,1906. In his long career, he published fourteen novels , over two hundred short stories, a memoir, two travel books, several essays, and two plays. He was among the first few Indians who started writing Indian literature in English.

He was awarded the AC Benson medal from the Royal Society of Literature, the Sahitya Akademi Award , the Padma Bhushan , and the Padma Vibhusan , third and second of India’s highest civilian awards. Swami and Friends, The Guide, and The Vendor of Sweets are some of his most famous books.

In this article, we will look into the biography of RK Narayan. Let’s explore.

Table of Content

RK Narayan Life Overview

Rk narayan – birth, early life, education, rk narayan career.

  • List of RK Narayan’s most famous books

RK Narayan Achievements

  • RK Narayan – FAQs

Full Name

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami

Date of Birth

October 10, 1906

Place of Birth

Madras, British India (now Chennai, India)

Education

B.A. degree from Maharaja’s College, Mysore (now University of Mysore)

Career

Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist

Awards

Sahitya Akademi Award (1958), Padma Bhushan (1964), Padma Vibhushan (1980), and many more.

Famous Books

Swami and Friends (1935), The English Teacher (1945), Waiting for the Mahatma (1955), The Guide (1958), The Vendor of Sweets (1967), Malgudi Days (short stories, 1943), An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories (short stories, 1947)

Died on

May 13, 2001

Death cause

Cardiovascular problems

RK Narayan was born on the Tamil 10th of October 1906 in a Tamil Brahmin family in his grandfather’s home in Madras (Now Chennai) during British Rule in India . His father is R.K. Krishnaswami Iyer who was the school headmaster and his mother Gyanamba l was a simple housewife. He spent his early years of life with his grandparents in Madras and he was very much inspired by his grandmother’s storytelling.

Every new day his grandmother tells him a new fictional story. He was one of the eight children and second among six sons, with two daughters in the family. He has spent a significant part of his childhood under the care of his maternal grandmother, who instilled in him a love for storytelling and traditional Hindu values. He moved to Mysore to live with his family when his father was transferred to Maharajah’s College High School.

He gained his higher education from the Maharaja’s College High School in Mysore. He faced a setback by failing the university entrance exam in 1925. When he failed an exam then he took a break from college during that time he developed a strong passion for reading, devouring works by renowned authors like Dickens, Wodehouse, Conan Doyle, and Hardy. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in 1930, taking a year longer than usual.

He started his career in the 1930s after finishing his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from the Maharaja’s College, Mysore . He was passionate about writing fiction, Narayan’s first published work in the 1930s was a  book review . It focused on the development of maritime laws in 17th-century England, showcasing his diverse interests.

  •  He then turned to  short story writing , contributing to a local newspaper, “The Justice,” in Madras. This period allowed him to hone his writing skills and gain experience in storytelling.
  • While writing short stories, Narayan also dedicated himself to his first novel,  “Swami and Friends” , completing it in 1930. He faced numerous rejections from publishers initially to publish his first Novel.
  • Despite the initial setbacks with his novel, Narayan remained determined. He continued writing short stories and published a collection titled  “Malgudi Days” in 1943 . This book marked a turning point in his career and from that he became recognised as a novelist.

Establishing His Literary (1940s onwards)

  • “The English Teacher” (1945):  The success of “Malgudi Days” opened doors for Narayan’s debut novel, “The English Teacher,” in 1945. This established him as a prominent literary figure and solidified his association with the fictional town of  Malgudi , the setting for many of his future works.

RK Narayan Literary Career

  • Novels:  He authored numerous critically acclaimed novels, including “The Guide” (1958) and “The Vendor of Sweets” (1967), further solidifying his position as a major literary figure.
  • Short Stories:  He didn’t limit himself only to novels but continued writing short stories, publishing diverse collections throughout his career.
  • Publishing House:   In 1941, Narayan established his own publishing house,   “Indian Thought Publications” , contributing to the literary landscape beyond his writing.

List of RK Narayan’s Most Famous Books

Title

Year

Genre

Swami and Friends

1935

Novel

The Guide

1958

Novel

The Vendor of Sweets

1967

Novel

Malgudi Days

1943

Short Story Collection

The English Teacher

1945

Novel

Waiting for the Mahatma

1955

Novel

An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories

1947

Short Story Collection

The Financial Expert

1952

Novel

The Man-Eater of Malgudi

1961

Novel

A Tiger for Malgudi

1983

Novel

Lawley Road

1956

Short Story Collection

The Bachelor of Arts

1937

Novel

Mr. Sampath

1940

Novel

My Dateless Diary

1960

Essays

A Horse and Two Goats

1970

Short Story Collection

The key Achievements throughout RK Narayan’s life are as follows : Created Malgudi:  He established the fictional town of  Malgudi  as a literary landmark, a setting for many of his stories that resonated with readers due to its universal themes and relatable characters.

  • RK Narayan’s writing played a significant role in introducing Indian culture, experiences, and emotions to a wider international audience.
  • He was recognized for his masterful storytelling abilities, weaving narratives that were both captivating and insightful.

Literary Recognition Achievements – Awards

  • Sahitya Akademi Award (1958):  India’s highest literary honour for his novel “The Guide.”
  • Padma Bhushan (1964):  Prestigious civilian award by the Indian government.One of India’s third-highest civilian awards.
  • Padma Vibhushan (1980):  One of India’s second-highest civilian awards.
  • AC Benson Medal (1980):  Awarded by the Royal Society of Literature, reflecting his international recognition.
  • Nominations and Recognition:  He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature on multiple occasions and received numerous other awards and accolades throughout his career.

Some Key Achievements of RK Narayan

  • He founded “Indian Thought Publications” in 1941 and  Contributed to the literary landscape beyond his writing by establishing a publishing house.
  • He Authored “ Reluctant Guru ” in 1975  a non-fiction book showcasing his observations and reflections on life.
  • Several of his works, including “The Guide” and “Waiting for the Mahatma,” were adapted into successful films, further extending his reach to a wider audience.

People Also Read:

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FAQs on RK Narayan

What is the short biography of rk narayan.

RK Narayan was born on 10 October 1906 and passed away in 2001. In his long career he published fourteen novels, over two hundred short stories, a memoir, two travel books, innumerable essays, and two plays. His first novel was Swami and Friends (1935).

Who was the famous character created by RK Narayan?

The character “Swami and friends ” created by R K Narayan that lived in the city of Malgudi. Swami and Friends is a novel that was published in the year 1935. The book was originally published in the English language.

What are the achievements of RK Narayan?

Having a successful career of almost sixty years got R.K. a series of awards and honours including the AC Benson medal from the Royal Society of Literature , the Padma Bhusan and the Padma Vibhusan , third and second of India’s highest civilian awards.

What is special about RK Narayan?

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, popularly known as R.K. Narayan, was an Indian writer globally known for his fictional writings of Malgudi. Also, R.K. Narayan was amongst the first few Indians who started writing Indian literature in English.

Which is RK Narayan’s first novel?

His first novel, Swami and Friends (1935), is an episodic narrative recounting the adventures of a group of schoolboys. That book and much of Narayan’s later works are set in the fictitious South Indian town of Malgudi.

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popularly known as , was an Indian writer globally known for his fictional writings of Malgudi. Also, R.K. Narayan was amongst the first few Indians who started writing Indian literature in English. Some of the most prominent contemporary authors of his time include Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao, etc.

Born in in a family of Tamil Brahmins, R.K. Narayan was the second eldest son in a family of eight children. He was born in the Madras Presidency of British India but still made a reputed name for himself even amongst the conventional English readers.

Narayan was an avid reader from his childhood days and loved to read the writings of some of the best authors of that time. Some of his favorite authors were Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Wodehouse. Narayan developed a deep interest in writing after reading all these phenomenal authors and thus started to look for opportunities to showcase his abilities to the world.

R.K. Narayan took four years to complete his graduation, which was a year longer than the normal duration of the course. And, then he started teaching in a school but soon decided to quit this job to pursue a full-time career in writing. Narayan was once visiting Coimbatore, and there R.K. fell in love with a girl named Rajam. After facing several obstacles, he finally married Rajam in 1934.

Narayan is best known for his fictional writings, but he did not start his published writing journey with a work of fiction. His first publication was a book review of the Development of Maritime Laws of 17th-Century England. Later, he worked as a short story writer for a local newspaper. Along with writing for local newspapers and magazines, Narayan also started working on his first novel and finally completed this novel in 1930. R.K. Narayan then showed the novel to several publications but was rejected by all the publishers.

The biggest breakthrough for R.K. Narayan came when he got a recommendation for "Swami and Friends" publication from the renowned English writer . The recommendation came because Narayan had earlier sent a copy of his novel to one of his friends in England, and then his friend showed the novel to Graham Greene.

Green also helped publish Narayan's next two novels, and The published novels were appreciated by the critics but failed to sell many book copies. Also, these two novels, along with "Swami and Friends," are considered a part of a trilogy based on a common theme.

R.K. Narayan deeply loved his wife, Rajam. But in 1939, Rajam suffered from typhoid and died soon after. The death of his wife badly impacted R.K. Narayan, and his mental health was affected very badly. Also, he was now left alone to look after his three-year-old daughter, Hema.

Such a personal loss of Narayan provided him with the inspiration for his next novel, With the publication of this novel, Narayan's writing slowly started to get the deserved recognition and appreciation from the readers. The biggest commercial success for Narayan came with the publication of in 1952 and was also hailed as one of the most original fictional writings of the year.

R.K. Narayan was also nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament, in 1980. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha for his extraordinary contributions to literature. The legendary writing career of R.K. Narayan came to an end with his final book in 1992. R.K. Narayan died on , at 94 in Chennai.

The trio of R.K. Narayan, Raja Rao, and Mulk Raj Anand is India's leading English writers. Narayan succeeded in creating a legacy through his writing which the people will remember for a long time. He also played an important role in making the Indian culture accessible to the world's people through his writings. One of his biggest fictional successes is the town of Malgudi. All the stories of Narayan revolved around the town of Malgudi and its residents. He made Malgudi alive with all his stories and the characters.





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write a short biography of rk narayan

Biography of Rk Narayan | Education, Books, Novels & Short stories

Rk Narayan

RK Narayan (Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami) was a well-known Indian writer and novelist. He was famous for his work set in the Malgudi. During his life span, he has written various novels, short stories, Non-fiction, essays, and travelogues. With the thought to give students and children knowledge about RK Narayan and its contribution to society, we are writing the Biography of RK Narayan. This blog post includes detailed information about Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanswami, his birth, early life, education, career, married life, writings, death, and legacy.

Birth and Early Life

RK Narayan was born in Madras(Chennai), India in a Tamil Brahmin family on 10th October 1906 to R.V. Krishnaswami Iyer and Gnana Iyer. Mr. R.V. Krishnaswami Iyer was the headmaster of a school in Mysore, and his mother Gnana Iyer was a housewife. He had 7 siblings(5 brothers and 2 sisters).

During his early childhood, he lived in Madras and he was admission to a succession of schools. Because of his shy and introverted nature, he didn’t make friends and kept himself busy in reading the books of Charles Dickens, P.G. Wodehouse, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Because of frequent job transfer of his father. He spent many years during his childhood at her maternal home, under the care of his maternal grandmother, Parvati.

RK Narayan Early Life

At the age of 12 years , Narayan’s family shifted to Mysore because of his father’s job. In Mysore he took admission in the Maharaja’s College in English Literature and in 1928, He graduated with a degree in English literature.

After graduating from Maharaja College, he worked as a teacher for a short period before deciding to become a writer.

He gave the wings to his passion for writing by continuous writing.

He wrote stories as well as long articles on different topics for different kinds of magazines. To make writing his career, he continued his writing skills

Married life

RK Narayan got married twice. He got married to Rajam in 1934. They blessed with a baby girl named Hema. But unfortunately his wife Rajam died in 1939.

So, in 1954, he got married again to Shantha. But with that marriage, he had no child.

In 1935, after marriage, RK Narayan wrote his first novel “Swami and Friends”. It was his critical and commercial success. After that he continued writing and wrote various novels such as The Bachelor of Arts (1937), The Dark Room (1938), and The English Teacher (1945). Apart from the novels, he wrote the guide and it was published in 1958. The guide was applauded by everyone and considered one of best of his writings. The Guide won India’s highest literary award known as Sahitya Akademi Award.

RK Narayan continued writing throughout his career life and wrote several books.

Because his writings were applauded and demanded by people over the globe. So, to fulfilled the demand of readers, his writings were translated into various languages.

Awards and Honors

Rk Narayan was a well-known Indian author. In his life, he received many awards. Here is a list of some of the most notable awards and honors:

  • In 1960, for his novel “The Guide” He received Sahitya Akademi Award.
  • In 1964, He received, Padma Bhushan.
  • In 1980 from the Royal Society of Literature, He received AC Benson Medal.
  • In 1982, He received honor as a Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
  • From 1989 to 1998, He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
  • In 1994, He got Sahitya Akademi Fellowship.
  • In 2000, He received Padma Vibhushan.
  • Apart from these, he was also nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature many times.

R.K.Narayan’s Writings (Novels/Short stories)

During his life, Narayan wrote more than 20 novels, 100 short stories, travelogues and essays.

  • Swami and Friends (1935)
  • The Bachelor of Arts (1937)
  • The Dark Room (1938)
  • The English Teacher (1945)
  • Mr. Sampath (1948)
  • The Financial Expert (1952)
  • Waiting for the Mahatma (1955)
  • The Guide (1958)
  • The Maneater of Malgudi (1961)
  • The Vendor of Sweets (1967)
  • Talkative Man (1986)
  • The World of Nagaraj (1990)
  • Grandmother’s Tale (1992)

Short Stories:

  • Malgudi Days (1942)
  • An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories (1947)
  • Lawley Road and Other Stories (1956)
  • A Horse and Two Goats (1970)
  • Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories (1985)
  • The Grandmother’s Tale and Selected Stories (1994)

On 13th May, 2001, R.K Narayan died at the age of 94 years, in Chennai, India. Because of his huge contribution to society,he is considered one of the most valuable Indian writers of the 20th century. His death was not only mourned by Indians but also the people over the globe.

The writings of RK Narayan has been praised by not only Indian readers but foreigners too.

His fictional town Malgudi has now become the famous tourist destination. Even various films and television shows has adapted his writings. He captured the life of Indian in his workings so he has become a role model for aspiring writers.

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R.K. Narayan Biography and Works

R.K. Narayan Biography and Works

Table of Contents

What is the famous work of R. K. Narayan?,What is the short story of R. K. Narayan?,What is the theme of R. K. Narayan?,What is the first work of R. K. Narayan?,What is the fact about R.K. Narayan?,What did R.K. Narayan’s father do?,What is an accident story by R.K. Narayan?,What is the philosophy of R.K. Narayan?,Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, widely known as R.K. Narayan, stands as one of the preeminent Indian writers in English during the 20th century. Born on October 10, 1906, in Madras (now Chennai), India, Narayan’s literary legacy is synonymous with his captivating portrayal of South Indian life, blending humor and poignancy. R.K. Narayan Biography and Works

Early Life:

R.K. Narayan was born into a Brahmin family in Madras, where his father, R. K. Narayanaswami, served as a school headmaster, and his mother, Gnanambal, embodied traditional values. Despite the conservative environment, Narayan’s parents fostered his early interest in literature, setting the stage for his later literary prowess.

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Narayan commenced his education at the Lutheran Mission School in Madras, where he was introduced to English literature. Later, he pursued higher education at Maharaja’s College in Mysore, where his passion for writing flourished. During this period, he began contributing short stories and articles to various local publications. R.K. Narayan Biography and Works

Emergence into Writing:

In 1930, Narayan’s literary journey took flight with the publication of a book review in “The Justice,” a Madras-based magazine. His initial works reflected simplicity and a profound understanding of human nature. The pivotal moment arrived in 1935 with the publication of his debut novel, “Swami and Friends,” introducing readers to the fictional town of Malgudi, a recurring setting in his future works. R.K. Narayan Biography and Works

Noteworthy Works:

  • Swami and Friends (1935): Narayan’s debut novel explores the adventures of young Swaminathan and his friends, delving into the innocence and curiosity of childhood.
  • The Bachelor of Arts (1937): This novel navigates the challenges faced by Chandran as he transitions from college to adulthood.
  • The English Teacher (1945): Drawing from personal experiences, Narayan touches upon themes of love, loss, and spiritual awakening in this poignant novel.
  • The Financial Expert (1952): A satirical commentary on the pursuit of wealth, this novel features Margayya manipulating the economic system for personal gain.
  • The Guide (1958): Regarded as a masterpiece, “The Guide” follows the story of Raju, a tourist guide, exploring themes of love, spirituality, and self-discovery.
  • Malgudi Days (1943): A collection of short stories capturing the essence of life in Malgudi, showcasing Narayan’s wit and keen observations.

Recognition and Awards:

R.K. Narayan’s literary contributions received widespread acclaim, earning him the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1964 for “The Guide.” In recognition of his impact on Indian literature, he received the Padma Bhushan in 1964 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2000, two of India’s highest civilian honors.

Personal Life:

In 1934, Narayan married Rajam, with whom he had a daughter named Hema. Tragically, Rajam passed away in 1939. Despite facing personal and financial challenges, Narayan remained committed to his writing. In 1956, he married Rajam’s younger sister, Rajeswari, with whom he had another daughter, Aparna.

Later Years and Legacy:

In his later years, Narayan continued to write prolifically, with his works adapted into successful films and television series. Despite occasional criticism for not overtly addressing social issues, Narayan’s subtle and humorous commentary on Indian society resonates with readers worldwide.

R.K. Narayan passed away on May 13, 2001, leaving behind a literary legacy that transcends time. His writings, characterized by their timeless appeal, offer profound insights into the human condition and the intricacies of Indian society. Narayan’s ability to capture the essence of ordinary life with humor and compassion ensures that his works remain relevant and enjoyable for generations to come.

Major Works:

  • Swami and Friends (1935): This debut novel introduces readers to the fictional town of Malgudi and follows the adventures of a young boy named Swaminathan and his group of friends. It explores the innocence and curiosity of childhood, setting the tone for Narayan’s later works.
  • The Bachelor of Arts (1937): This novel delves into the challenges faced by the protagonist, Chandran, as he transitions from college life to adulthood. It addresses themes of identity, societal expectations, and personal growth.
  • The English Teacher (1945): Inspired by personal experiences, this novel explores the themes of love, loss, and spiritual awakening. The protagonist, Krishna, undergoes a transformative journey after the death of his wife, highlighting Narayan’s ability to blend the mundane with the profound.
  • The Financial Expert (1952): A satirical novel that follows the life of Margayya, a financial expert who manipulates the economic system for personal gain. The book provides a critical commentary on the pursuit of wealth and societal values. R.K. Narayan Biography and Works
  • The Guide (1958): Considered one of Narayan’s masterpieces, this novel tells the story of Raju, a tourist guide, and explores themes of love, deception, and spiritual redemption. The narrative structure is notable for its non-linear and layered storytelling.
  • Malgudi Days (1943): A collection of short stories set in the fictional town of Malgudi, each capturing the nuances of human relationships, societal norms, and everyday life. The stories showcase Narayan’s wit, humor, and keen observations.

Writing Style:

  • Simplicity: Narayan’s writing is characterized by simplicity, making his works accessible to a wide audience. He eschews elaborate language in favor of a straightforward and unpretentious style, allowing readers to connect with his narratives on a personal level.
  • Humor: A hallmark of Narayan’s writing is his subtle humor. He skillfully infuses wit and irony into his stories, often using humor to comment on societal norms and human behavior. This comedic touch adds depth and relatability to his works.
  • Characterization: Narayan excels in creating memorable and authentic characters. His characters are often drawn from everyday life in small towns, and he endows them with distinct personalities and quirks. This attention to characterization contributes to the realism of his narratives.
  • Regional Flavor: Narayan’s works vividly capture the essence of South Indian life and culture. Through detailed descriptions and cultural references, he brings the fictional town of Malgudi to life, making it a character in itself. This regional flavor adds authenticity and richness to his storytelling.
  • Exploration of Human Nature: Narayan’s narratives delve into the complexities of human relationships and societal dynamics. His keen understanding of human nature allows him to create characters that resonate with readers, and he skillfully explores universal themes such as love, loss, and self-discovery.
  • Subtle Social Commentary: While not overtly political, Narayan’s works offer subtle social commentary. He addresses societal norms, caste dynamics, and the impact of modernity on traditional values. His storytelling serves as a lens through which readers can reflect on broader social issues.

R.K. Narayan’s literary journey is a tapestry woven with simplicity, humor, and a profound understanding of human nature. Through the lens of Malgudi, his fictional town, Narayan painted a vivid portrait of South Indian life, capturing the nuances of everyday existence. From the innocence of childhood in “Swami and Friends” to the spiritual quest in “The Guide,” Narayan’s major works showcase a remarkable range of storytelling.

His writing style, marked by simplicity and subtle humor, made his works universally appealing. The characters he crafted, often drawn from the fabric of small-town life, came to life with authenticity and relatability. Narayan’s narratives, while deeply rooted in South Indian culture, transcended regional boundaries, earning him acclaim both in India and internationally. R.K. Narayan Biography and Works

As a literary luminary, Narayan received accolades, including the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Padma Bhushan. His legacy endures, not only through his novels but also through the screen adaptations of his works. R.K. Narayan’s ability to blend the ordinary with the profound, coupled with his keen observations of human behavior, ensures his place as a timeless storyteller.What is the famous work of R. K. Narayan?,What is the short story of R. K. Narayan?,What is the theme of R. K. Narayan?,What is the first work of R. K. Narayan?,What is the fact about R.K. Narayan?,What did R.K. Narayan’s father do?,What is an accident story by R.K. Narayan?,What is the philosophy of R.K. Narayan?,

1. What is R.K. Narayan best known for?

R.K. Narayan is best known for his captivating portrayal of South Indian life in English literature. His major works, including “Swami and Friends,” “The Guide,” and “Malgudi Days,” showcase his keen observations, humor, and deep understanding of human nature.

2. What is the significance of Malgudi in R.K. Narayan’s works?

Malgudi, a fictional town created by R.K. Narayan, serves as the backdrop for many of his novels and short stories. It symbolizes a microcosm of Indian society, allowing Narayan to explore diverse themes such as human relationships, societal norms, and the impact of modernity on traditional values.

3. How would you describe R.K. Narayan’s writing style?

R.K. Narayan’s writing style is characterized by simplicity, humor, and a deep understanding of human nature. He uses colloquial language and subtle humor to make his works accessible to a broad audience. His storytelling is marked by authenticity, and he excels in creating memorable characters.

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  1. R.K Narayan Biography

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  6. R.K. Narayan: Biography, death, short stories, parents

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COMMENTS

  1. R.K. Narayan

    R.K. Narayan, one of the finest Indian authors of his generation writing in English. He typically portrays the peculiarities of human relationships and the ironies of Indian daily life, in which modern urban existence clashes with ancient tradition. His style is marked by genial humor, elegance, and simplicity.

  2. R. K. Narayan

    Life and career Early life R. K. Narayan, c. 1925-26 R. K. Narayan was born in a Tamil Brahmin family on 10 October 1906 in Madras (now Chennai, Tamil Nadu), British India. He was one of eight children; six sons and two daughters. Narayan was second among the sons; his younger brother Ramachandran later became an editor at Gemini Studios, and the youngest brother Laxman became a cartoonist.

  3. R. K. Narayan Biography

    Male Writers. Childhood & Early life. R. K. Narayan was born in Chennai, Indian in 1906 in a working class south Indian family. His father was a school headmaster and because his father had to be frequently transferred for his job, Narayan spent most of his childhood in the loving care of his grandmother, Parvati.

  4. R. K. Narayan's Writing Style & Short Biography

    R. K. Narayan. K. Narayan, born as Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami in 1906, was one of the most refined Indian writers who wrote in English literature. He was famous for his fictional setting of a semi-urban South Indian town, Malgudi. Along with the other two significant writers, Raja Rao and Mulk Raj Anand, Narayan was the leading ...

  5. R K Narayan Biography

    RK Narayan was always found devoted and dedicated to reading whenever he got time. Awards and Honors. Among the best works of RK Narayan among his 34 novels, The English Teacher (1945), Waiting for the Mahatma (1955), The Guide (1958), The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1961), The Vendor of Sweets (1967), and A Tiger for Malgudi (1983) were the best.

  6. R K Narayan

    NARAYAN, R. K. NARAYAN, R. K. (1906-2001), renowned author of novels, short stories, and essays Regarded by many critics as India's greatest writer in English, R. K. Narayan's birth name, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayanaswami, was shortened at the suggestion of his first English publisher for the convenience of Western readers. Born on 10 October 1906 in Madras (Chennai), he was the third of ...

  7. R. K. Narayan Biography

    R. K. Narayan Short Fiction Analysis ... In 1938, Narayan received a government grant to write a travel book about Karnataka state, and this experience provided information for many future works ...

  8. R. K. Narayan

    Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami (10 October 1906 - 13 May 2001) is an Indian writer. [1] He is known for for his works about the fictional town Malgudi. He is the one of the great authors in Indian literature. [source?] R. K. Narayan. Born.

  9. R K Narayan

    The Guide (1958) Talkative Man (1986) Waiting for the Mahatma (1955) The English Teacher (1945) The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1961) His novels exhibited a kind of subtle atmosphere very much apt for the kind of fiction R K Narayan wrote. The presence of dynamic Malgudi in the backdrop added soul to his plots as well his characters were, most of the ...

  10. R.K. Narayan

    Students. Scholars. (1906-2001). R.K. Narayan was one of the best known and most esteemed Indians writing in English. He was essentially a storyteller and he did not blaze new trails in fiction writing, but he tried to convey a sense of the land and the people he knew so well. He was sometimes compared to the United States writer William ...

  11. R K Narayan Biography

    During the pinnacle of R K Narayan's successful career, R K Narayan received the Padma Bhushan award in 1964 and, 36 years later, the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2000, just a year before his passing at 94 age.R K Narayan, who was born in 1906 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, fell critically ill due to cardiovascular problems and he was hospitalized two weeks before his demise.

  12. R.K.Narayan: The Grand Old Man of Indian Fiction

    Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan popularly known as R. K. Narayan was born in 1906 in Madras. It is bit surprising that one of the most successful Indo-Anglian writers wasn't a good student. He failed both in High School and inter-mediate examinations and could get his degree only when he was twenty-four years old.

  13. R.K Narayan: The One Who Created Malgudi

    R.K. Narayan, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami is a legendary writer of early Indian English literature. Being a writer of fiction, non-fiction and mythology, R.K. Narayan proposed a great range of pen work for his readers worldwide. His famous autobiographical trilogy of "Swami and friends", "The Bachelor of Arts" and "The English teacher" are one of his finest pieces ...

  14. R. K. Narayan Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

    R. K. Narayan (1966-2001) was an Indian writer and novelist. He was one of the renowned authors of the early Indian literature in English like Raja Rao and Mulk Raj Anand. He was also a short story writer, essayist, journalist, critic, memoirist, and an editor. He mainly wrote fiction, non-fiction, and mythology.

  15. R. K. Narayan Biography

    R. K. Narayan, whose full name is Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan (originally, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayanswami), was born on October 10, 1906, in Madras (now known as Chennai), India. He is known as one of India's greatest English-language novelists, alongside Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. His father was a provincial headmaster and he had ...

  16. Introduction (Chapter 1)

    R. K. Narayan was born on 10 October 1906 and passed away in 2001. In his long career he published fourteen novels, over two hundred short stories, a memoir, two travel books, innumerable essays, and two plays. His first novel was Swami and Friends (1935). His last published work was Grandmother's Tale (1992), which in many ways reinforced the ...

  17. RK Narayan Biography: Early Life, Education, Honours & Awards

    RK Narayan was a famous Indian writer globally known for his fictional writings of Malgudi. He was born on the 10th of October,1906. In his long career, he published fourteen novels, over two hundred short stories, a memoir, two travel books, several essays, and two plays. He was among the first few Indians who started writing Indian literature in English.. He was awarded the AC Benson medal ...

  18. R. K. Narayan Biography

    When R. K. Narayan died on 13 May 2001 at the age of ninety-four, he left behind a body of work that will continue to impress generations of readers. Surveying Narayan's work, one is struck by the breadth and depth of his achievement. His first novel, Swami and Friends: A Novel of Malgudi, was published in 1935, and at the time of his death ...

  19. R.K. Narayan: Biography, death, short stories, parents

    Born in 1906 in a family of Tamil Brahmins, R.K. Narayan was the second eldest son in a family of eight children. He was born in the Madras Presidency of British India but still made a reputed name for himself even amongst the conventional English readers. Narayan was an avid reader from his childhood days and loved to read the writings of some ...

  20. R. K. Narayan: Contribution to Indian English literature

    His little dreams of middle class life are enacted in Malgudi, an imaginary small town in south India which comes to be felt as a living ambience in his fiction. After some works in journalism for a few years, Narayan has published his first novel Swami and Friends in 1935. This novel created for the first time the now famous "Malgudi".

  21. Biography of Rk Narayan

    RK Narayan continued writing throughout his career life and wrote several books. Because his writings were applauded and demanded by people over the globe. So, to fulfilled the demand of readers, his writings were translated into various languages. Awards and Honors. Rk Narayan was a well-known Indian author. In his life, he received many awards.

  22. Biography of R.K. Narayan

    Nov 6, 2023. R.K.Narayan. thefamouspeople.com. R.K. Narayan (Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami ), a novelist and short-story writer, was born on October 10, 1906, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. R.K. Narayan was a well-known author famous for his stories set in the fictional town of Malgudi. His stories were based on day-to-day ...

  23. R.K. Narayan Biography and Works

    R.K. Narayan is best known for his captivating portrayal of South Indian life in English literature. His major works, including "Swami and Friends," "The Guide," and "Malgudi Days," showcase his keen observations, humor, and deep understanding of human nature. 2.