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Biography of R.K.Narayan - Novelist and Short Story Writer

Nithya Venkat loves to read books and write biographies about authors who have captured her heart.



R.K.Narayan (Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami ), a novelist and short-story writer, was born on October 10th, 1906, in Chennai, in the state of 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 happenings and were filled with interesting narratives. His novels and stories are read across the world even today.

Early Life of R.K.Narayan

R.K.Narayan's father was a Headmaster, and he studied in his school for the first few years. Due to his father's frequent transfers, he lived with his maternal grandmother, Parvathi. His grandmother took great interest in teaching him about Indian mythology, classical Indian music, and the language of Sanskrit. She also taught him arithmetic.

R.K.Narayan loved to read books. He read books written by Dickens, Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Thomas Hardy. When his father was transferred to Mysore, he went to live with his family. His father became the headmaster of Maharaja's Collegiate High School. R.K.Narayan enjoyed visiting the school library and spent many hours reading in the library.

He studied at Maharaja College of Mysore, where he completed his Master's degree. He first worked as a teacher for a short period. Later on, he realized that the only thing that interested him was writing.

R.K.Narayan loved Indian Classical music. He attended many concerts and made it a point not to miss a single one.

Fascinating facts

  • R.K.Narayan was called "Kunjappa" at home.
  • He loved to go for walks.
  • Relished eating curd rice.
  • He enjoyed drinking South Indian-style coffee.
  • He started his career as a school teacher.
  • In 2001, he was awarded the second-highest civilian award "Padma Vibhushan" by the Indian Government.

Publications of R.K.Narayan

The first work that he published was a review of the book "Development of Maritime Laws of 17th Century England. He also wrote for the local newspapers and magazines.

In 1933, R.K.Narayan married Rajam from Coimbatore. After his marriage, he joined the "The Justice" newspaper. During this period, his friend at Oxford (Oxfordshire, England) showed the manuscript of "Swami and Friends" to Graham Greene. Graham Greene recommended the book to his publisher, and it was published in the year 1935.

Following this, R.K.Narayan published "Bachelor of Arts" in 1937 and "The Dark Room" in 1938. Both of these books dealt with social issues. After publishing his third novel, he joined the Government of Mysore due to financial constraints.

In 1939, his wife Rajam was affected by typhoid that leads to her death. R.K.Narayan was devastated and went into a deep depression. He was worried about his daughter Hema who was only three years old at that time. After his wife's demise, he wrote the book "The English Teacher" based on his life experiences.

R.K.Narayan started his publishing company "Indian Thought Publications." By this time, he had fans worldwide reading his books. During this period, he published the novels "Mr. Sampath," "The Financial Expert," and "Waiting for Mahatma."

In 1953, his writings were published in the United States for the first time by "Michigan State University Press." He went to the United States on the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1956. During this period, he wrote the award-winning book "The Guide." This book was awarded the "Sahitya Akademi Award" (a literary honor in India) in 1958.

More of his publications

Next Sunday

My Dateless Diary

Dodu and Other Stories

Cyclone and Other Stories

Scroll to Continue

Malgudi Days

Talkative Man

The Man-Eater of Malgudi

Gods, Demons, and Others

Vendor of Sweets

A Horse and Two Goats

Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories

Writer's Nightmare

World of Nagaraj

The Ramayana


The Painter of Signs

Grandmother's Tale

Accolades Awarded to R.K.Narayan

In the year 1967, R.K.Narayan was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Leeds. He was chosen as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and won the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature, UK.

In 1980, R.K.Narayan was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in the Indian Parliament to contribute to English Literature. In 1990, he published the book “The World of Nagaraj.” Soon after the publication of this book, Narayan fell ill. His last and final book was “Grandmother’s Tale.”

On 13th May 2001, R.K.Narayan died in Chennai at the age of 94, leaving behind his books' legacy for everyone to read and enjoy.


© 2013 Nithya Venkat


Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 21, 2015:

sunilkunnoth2012 thank you and yes I have seen the serial on DD. Thanks for the vote and share too.

enge thank you, his stories are great and a joy to read.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on May 20, 2015:

I have read Rk Narayan and always was impressed by his writings. Nice presentation about him

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on May 20, 2015:

I am great fan of KRN. I still remember that nostalgic serial titled 'Malgudi Days' in Doordarshan. I have read some of his popular books too with great enthusiasm. Thank you for this wonderful post. Keep on writing. Shared and voted up. All the best.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 25, 2013:

radhikasree thank you for stopping by. I watched Malgudi days too!! He is a brilliant writer indeed. Thank you for your votes too.

Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on September 25, 2013:

I used to watch Malgudy days serial in T.V. without a miss during my childhood. R.K. Narayan is a brilliant writer whose works would remain as jewels among pearls and beads. Nice post.

Voted up, useful and interesting.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 11, 2013:

Eiddwen thank you, have a great day! Thanks for the vote up.

Eiddwen from Wales on September 10, 2013:

Such a great read Vellur. Voted up and wishing you a great day.


Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 09, 2013:

Gypsy Rose Lee thank you, you will enjoy reading his works. Thanks for passing this on.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on September 09, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this interesting hub. Never heard of this writer will take a look at some of his work. Passing this on.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 07, 2013:

Vinaya, yes he is a wonderful writer and his stories are really interesting to read. Thank you.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on September 07, 2013:

I have read RK. He is a wonderful writer. In fact, his stories were a part of English literature when I was in school.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 07, 2013:

Pamela99 thank you and am happy that you would like to read his books.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 06, 2013:

I was not familiar with this author. Your hub was very interesting and I think I would like to read some of his writings. Great review.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 05, 2013:

BlossomSB thank you, am glad you got to know about this author.

always exploring thank you for reading and for sharing your views.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 04, 2013:

How sad that his wife died leaving him with a three year old daughter. I was not surprised to learn that he went into a deep depression after her death. This was very interesting. Thank you for sharing...

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on September 04, 2013:

A very interesting introduction to a writer who was known internationally.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 04, 2013:

DDE thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

tillsontitan thank you for reading and for the many votes.

billybuc thank you for your visit, much appreciated.

Jackie Lynnley thank you, his books are amazing to read.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 04, 2013:

Thank you for introducing us to this author and from what I read I do desire to read him, especially anything biographic. Well done. ^

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 04, 2013:

Thank you for the information my friend. Good review.

Mary Craig from New York on September 04, 2013:

An interesting hub on an interesting author. Thank you for the introduction.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 04, 2013:

Interesting and informative on the Indian author, R.K.Narayan definitely a well written biography.

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