Rk Narayan

Topics: R. K. Narayan, Swami and Friends, Indian Thought Publications Pages: 6 (2109 words) Published: November 10, 2010
(October 10, 1906 – May 13, 2001), shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami(Tamil: ராசிபுரம் கிருஷ்ணசுவாமி அய்யர் நாராயணசுவாமி) was an Indian author whose works of fiction include a series of books about people and their interactions in an imagined town in India. He is one of three leading figures of earlyIndian literature in English, along with Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. He is credited with bringing Indian literature in English to the rest of the world, and is regarded as one of India's greatest English language novelists. Early years

R. K. Narayan was born in Madras (now known as Chennai), Madras Presidency, British India.[1] His father was a school headmaster, and Narayan did some of his studies at his father's school. As his father's job required frequent moves, Narayan spent part of his childhood under the care of his maternal grandmother, Parvati.[2]During this time his best friends and playmates were a peacock and aHis grandmother gave him the nickname of Kunjappa, a name that stuck to him in family circles.[6] She taught him arithmetic, mythology, classical Indian music andSanskrit.[7] According to his youngest brother R. K. Laxman, the family mostly conversed in English, and grammatical errors on the part of Narayan and his siblings were frowned upon.[8] While living with his grandmother, Narayan studied at a succession of schools in Madras, including the Lutheran Mission School inPurasawalkam,[9] C.R.C. High School, and the Christian College High School.[10] Narayan was an avid reader, and his early literary diet included Dickens, Wodehouse,Arthur Conan Doyle and Thomas Hardy.[11] When he was twelve years old, Narayan participated in a pro-independence march, for which he was reprimanded by his uncle; the family was apolitical and considered all governments wicked.[12] mischievous monkey.[3][4][5] Turning point

While vacationing at his sister's house in Coimbatore, in 1933, Narayan met and fell in love with Rajam, a 15-year old girl who lived nearby. Despite many astrological and financial obstacles, Narayan managed to gain permission from the girl's father and married her.[19] Following his marriage, Narayan became a reporter for a Madras based paper called The Justice, dedicated to the rights of non-Brahmins. The publishers were thrilled to have a Brahmin Iyer in Narayan espousing their cause. The job brought him in contact with a wide variety of people and issues.[20] Earlier, Narayan had sent the manuscript of Swami and Friends to a friend at Oxford, and about this time, the friend showed the manuscript to Graham Greene. Greene recommended the book to his publisher, and it was finally published in 1935.[3] Greene also counseled Narayan on shortening his name to become more familiar to the English-speaking audience.[21] The book was semi-autobiographical and built upon many incidents from his own childhood.[22] Reviews were favourable but sales were few. Narayan's next novel The Bachelor of Arts (1937), was inspired in part by his experiences at college,[23] and dealt with the theme of a rebellious adolescent transitioning to a rather well-adjusted adult;[24] it was published by a different publisher, again at the recommendation of Greene. His third novel, The Dark Room (1938) was about domestic disharmony,[25] showcasing the man as the oppressor and the woman as the victim within a marriage, and was published by yet another publisher; this book also received good reviews. In 1937, Narayan's father died, and Narayan was forced to accept a commission from the government of Mysore as he was not making any money.[26] In his first three books, Narayan highlights the problems with certain socially accepted practices. The first book has Narayan focusing on the plight of students, punishments of caning in the classroom, and the associated shame. The concept of horoscope-matching in Hindu marriages and the emotional toll it levies on the bride and groom is covered in the second book. In the third...
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