R.K Narayan was born on October 10, 1906, in Chennai. He started his career as a teacher before turning into a full-time writer. Swami and Friends were his first novel still remain a favourite among children and has been translated into many languages. The former and many of his later works are placed in a fictional town of Malgudi.
His writings portrayed the intricacies of human relationships and the nuances of life in India which connected well with the Indian readers. It was also marked with simple wit which gave them an added charm. 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 non-fiction, he also wrote the modern prose versions of two Indian epics, The Ramayana (1972) and The Mahabharata (1978).
Narayan’s honours included the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s Christopher Benson Award, and the Padma Bhushan in 1964, elevated to the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award, in 2000. He passed away on May 13, 2000.