Narayan, R. K. (Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan)nərĪˈyän, 1906–2001, Indian novelist, b. Madras (now Chennai). Narayan, who wrote in English, published his first novel, Swami and Friends, in 1935. While he wrote hundreds of short stories for the Madras newspaper Hindu, he first came to international attention when his works were hailed in England by Graham Greene. His humorous novel The Financial Expert (1952) was the first of his works published in the United States. Frequently set in the fictional town of Malgudi, many of Narayan's 14 novels and numerous stories provide exquisitely crafted, witty, vital, and perceptive descriptions of everyday village life in S India. His fiction often deals with the protagonist's search for identity. Narayan's major works, usually centering around a modest hero and containing portraits of a variety of eccentrics, include The English Teacher, also known as Grateful to Life and Death (1945), The Printer of Malgudi (1949), The Guide (1958), The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1961), The Vendor of Sweets (1967), The Painter of Signs (1976), and A Tiger for Malgudi (1983). Among his short-story collections are Malgudi Days (1982) and The Grandmother's Tale and Selected Stories (1994).
See his My Days: A Memoir (1974) and Talkative Man (1987); biography by S. Ram and N. Ram (1996); studies by W. Walsh (1982), C. Vanden Driesen (1986), J. K. Biswal (1987), P. S. Sundaram (1988), G. Kain, ed. (1993), N. N. Sharan (1993), A. Hariprasanna (1994), A. L. McLeod, ed. (1994), M. Pousse (1995), M. Rahman (1998), P. K. Singh (1999), C. N. Srinath, ed. (2000), and K. Parija (2001).
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