Biography of Rk Narayan | Education, Books, Novels & Short stories

Rk Narayan

RK Narayan (Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami) was a well-known Indian writer and novelist. He was famous for his work set in the Malgudi. During his life span, he has written various novels, short stories, Non-fiction, essays, and travelogues. With the thought to give students and children knowledge about RK Narayan and its contribution to society, we are writing the Biography of RK Narayan. This blog post includes detailed information about Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanswami, his birth, early life, education, career, married life, writings, death, and legacy.

Birth and Early Life

RK Narayan was born in Madras(Chennai), India in a Tamil Brahmin family on 10th October 1906 to R.V. Krishnaswami Iyer and Gnana Iyer. Mr. R.V. Krishnaswami Iyer was the headmaster of a school in Mysore, and his mother Gnana Iyer was a housewife. He had 7 siblings(5 brothers and 2 sisters).

During his early childhood, he lived in Madras and he was admission to a succession of schools. Because of his shy and introverted nature, he didn’t make friends and kept himself busy in reading the books of Charles Dickens, P.G. Wodehouse, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Because of frequent job transfer of his father. He spent many years during his childhood at her maternal home, under the care of his maternal grandmother, Parvati.

RK Narayan Early Life


At the age of 12 years , Narayan’s family shifted to Mysore because of his father’s job. In Mysore he took admission in the Maharaja’s College in English Literature and in 1928, He graduated with a degree in English literature.

After graduating from Maharaja College, he worked as a teacher for a short period before deciding to become a writer.

He gave the wings to his passion for writing by continuous writing.

He wrote stories as well as long articles on different topics for different kinds of magazines. To make writing his career, he continued his writing skills

Married life

RK Narayan got married twice. He got married to Rajam in 1934. They blessed with a baby girl named Hema. But unfortunately his wife Rajam died in 1939.

So, in 1954, he got married again to Shantha. But with that marriage, he had no child.


In 1935, after marriage, RK Narayan wrote his first novel “Swami and Friends”. It was his critical and commercial success. After that he continued writing and wrote various novels such as The Bachelor of Arts (1937), The Dark Room (1938), and The English Teacher (1945). Apart from the novels, he wrote the guide and it was published in 1958. The guide was applauded by everyone and considered one of best of his writings. The Guide won India’s highest literary award known as Sahitya Akademi Award.

RK Narayan continued writing throughout his career life and wrote several books.

Because his writings were applauded and demanded by people over the globe. So, to fulfilled the demand of readers, his writings were translated into various languages.

Awards and Honors

Rk Narayan was a well-known Indian author. In his life, he received many awards. Here is a list of some of the most notable awards and honors:

  • In 1960, for his novel “The Guide” He received Sahitya Akademi Award.
  • In 1964, He received, Padma Bhushan.
  • In 1980 from the Royal Society of Literature, He received AC Benson Medal.
  • In 1982, He received honor as a Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
  • From 1989 to 1998, He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
  • In 1994, He got Sahitya Akademi Fellowship.
  • In 2000, He received Padma Vibhushan.
  • Apart from these, he was also nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature many times.

R.K.Narayan’s Writings (Novels/Short stories)

During his life, Narayan wrote more than 20 novels, 100 short stories, travelogues and essays.


  • Swami and Friends (1935)
  • The Bachelor of Arts (1937)
  • The Dark Room (1938)
  • The English Teacher (1945)
  • Mr. Sampath (1948)
  • The Financial Expert (1952)
  • Waiting for the Mahatma (1955)
  • The Guide (1958)
  • The Maneater of Malgudi (1961)
  • The Vendor of Sweets (1967)
  • Talkative Man (1986)
  • The World of Nagaraj (1990)
  • Grandmother’s Tale (1992)

Short Stories:

  • Malgudi Days (1942)
  • An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories (1947)
  • Lawley Road and Other Stories (1956)
  • A Horse and Two Goats (1970)
  • Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories (1985)
  • The Grandmother’s Tale and Selected Stories (1994)


On 13th May, 2001, R.K Narayan died at the age of 94 years, in Chennai, India. Because of his huge contribution to society,he is considered one of the most valuable Indian writers of the 20th century. His death was not only mourned by Indians but also the people over the globe.


The writings of RK Narayan has been praised by not only Indian readers but foreigners too.

His fictional town Malgudi has now become the famous tourist destination. Even various films and television shows has adapted his writings. He captured the life of Indian in his workings so he has become a role model for aspiring writers.

About The Author

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