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Rasipuram Krishnaswami Ayyar
Naranayanaswami or R.K.Narayan (1906-2001), known as Grand Old Man of
Indian English fiction, started his tryst with English fiction with
his first novel Swami and Friends (1935), which is set in the
fictional town of Malgudi, which is perhaps the single most endearing
"character" R.K.Narayan has ever created.
Narayan wrote 34 novels, including The Guide, which was made into a film, Bachelor of Arts, The Printer of Malgudi, The Man Eater of Malgudi, The Financial Expert, Waiting for the Mahatma, The Vendor of Sweets, Reluctant Guru, The Painter of Signs, A Tiger for Malgudi, five collections of short stories (A Horse and Two Goats, An astrologer's day, Lawley Road, Malgudi Days and The Grandmother's Tale), two travel books (My Dateless Diary and The Emerald Route), four collections of essays (Next Sunday, Reluctant Guru, A Writer's Nightmare, and A Story-Teller's World), a memoir (My Days), and some translations of Indian epics and myths (The Ramayana, The Mahabharata, and Gods, Demons and Others). Among his most famous short stories is A Horse and Two Goats, featuring a bizarre dialogue between an American visitor and an impoverished old villager who speaks no English beyond "yes" and "no."
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 nominated member of the Rajya Sabha . In 1958, The Guide became the first work by an Indian English writer to win the Sahitya Akademi Award. In 1964, Narayan was conferred with the coveted award of Padma Bhushan.