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R.K. NARAYAN

THE SOUL OF MALGUDI



Malgudi, the home of many lively characters such as Swami and his friends, Mr.Sampath and Nataraj is a small fictional town in Mysore but to us it seems that the place does exist in reality. The city of Malgudi was born out of the pen of R.K Narayan, considered to be the pioneer of Anglo-Indian writer along with G.V. Desani.

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan (in short R.K Narayan) was born in Madras, South India in 1906. He got his education at Maharaja's College (now called as Collegiate High School) in Mysore where his father was a professor. Like many successful person, he was not immediately successful in his writing career. He struggled to earn his living out of the small money he got by writing stories and essays for various newspapers. But it all changed when the draft of his first novel based on Malgudi titled Swami and Friends was read by the famous British writer Graham Greene.

It got published with the financial aid of Graham Greene and from then onwards, the writer never looked back and continued enchanting millions of readers all over the world. He wrote altogether 29 novels all based on Malgudi and numerous short stories. His novel The Guide won him the prestigious Sahitya Academi Award first time given to a book in English. His novels have so wonderfully depicted the lives of common Indian that Graham Greene found his second home in India. From what I have read in Salman Rushdie' s controversial book "An Anthology of Indian Writings", R.K Narayan is currently working on a sequel to his last novel His other publications include the collection of short stories like An Astrologer's Days and other stories, Under the Banyan tree and other stories, Lawley Road and Malgudi Days.

He has written a travel book The Emerald Route, three collections of essays A Writer's Nightmare, Next Sunday and Reluctant Guru and three books on the Indian epics viz. Gods, Demons and Others, The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. He has even a written a diary titled My Dateless Diary telling about his views on the US when he traveled there.

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