Interesting Facts about The Grand Old Man of Malgudi

RK Narayan

R.K Narayan was a great Indian writer known for his works set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. He is famous for his novels like- The Guide, Swami and Friends, The English Teacher, A Tiger for Malgudi etc. Here are some facts we probably didn’t know about that person who added more innocence to our childhood, R.K Narayan.

  • His first published work was neither a novel nor a short story. It was a book review of Development of Maritime Laws of the 17th century England.
  • Narayan introduced the town of Malgudi in his first novel Swami and His Friends. A series of publishers rejected the novel. However, it later became a mouthpiece setting to express the changing scenario of the British and post-Independence India.
  • The manuscript of Swami and His Friends was sent to an English novelist, Graham Greene, who recommended it to the famous publisher Hamish Hamilton.
  • Famous British writer Somerset Maugham once came to Mysore, India to meet R.K Narayan but couldn’t find his house as no one there knew Narayan. So he wrote a letter expressing his admiration of the Indian writer.
  • Narayan received Sahitya Akademi Award for his famous novel, The Guide. The novel was later adapted into a  Bollywood movie and a stage representation at the Broadway Theatre in New York. He also received the AC Benson Medal from Royal Society of Literature, London.
  • Narayan is also a Padma Bhushan and a Padma Vibhushan, India’s third and second highest civilian honor.
  • He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature on several occasions but never won the award.
  • He, along with his contemporaries, Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao, is credited to introduce “Indian English Literature” as a genre to the world.
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