R. K. Narayan

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Photo of R. K. in his study at his Lakshmipuram residence in Mysore. A framed picture of wife Rajam is on the bookshelf.

Born Rasipuram Krishnaswami Ayyar Narayanaswami, R.K. Narayan was born in Madras and educated there and at Maharajah's College in Mysore. He shortened his name to R. K. Narayan on Graham Greene's suggestion. He lived in India ever since, apart from his travels. Most of his work, starting from his first novel Swami and friends (1935) is set in the fictional town of Malgudi which at the same time captures everything Indian while having a unique identity of its own.

He has published numerous novels, short stories, two travel books, collections of essays, a memoir, and some translations of Indian epics and myths (The Ramayana, The Mahabharata, and Gods, Demons and Others).

In 1980, R. K. Narayan was awarded the A.C. Benson award by the Royal Society of Literature and was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1989 he was made a member of the Rajya Sabha (the non-elective House of Parliament in India). He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for The Guide (1958).

R. K. Narayan's Works
1935: Swami and friends
1937: Bachelor of Arts
1938: The Dark Room
1939: Mysore
1945: The English Teacher
1947: An Astrologer's Day, and other stories
1949: Mr. Sampath - The Printer of Malgudi
1952: The Financial Expert
1953: Grateful to Life and Death
1955: Waiting for the Mahatma
1956: Lawley Road, and other stories
1958: The Guide
1960: Next Sunday : sketches and essays
1961: The Man-Eater of Malgudi
1964: My Dateless Diary: An American Journey
1965: Gods, Demons, and others
1967: The Vendor of Sweets
1970: A Horse and two Goats, stories
1972: The Ramayana; a shortened modern prose version
1974: My Days
1974: Reluctant Guru
1976: The Painter of Signs
1978: The Mahabharata: a shortened modern prose version
1980: The Emerald Route
1982: Malgudi Days
1983: A Tiger for Malgudi
1985: Under the Banyan Tree and other stories
1986: Talkative Man
1988: A Writer's Nightmare : selected essays
1989: A Story-Teller's World: Stories, Essays, Sketches
1990: The World of Nagaraj
1992: Malgudi Landscapes: the best of R.K. Narayan
1993: The Grandmother's Tale: three novellas
1993: Salt & sawdust : stories and table talk

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