Fun Facts About R.K. Narayan

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, more popularly known as R. K. Narayan is one of India’s greatest writers. Born on October 10, 1906, his novels and short stories have accompanied children for decades. He is the author of numerous books, but he is most famous for his short story collection titled Malgudi Days.

Here are a few facts about the man and his life that you probably did not know:

  • R. K. Narayan’s first published work was neither a novel nor a short story. It was a book review of the Development of Maritime Laws of 17th-Century England.

  • His first novel Swami and His Friends introduced Malgudi to the reader for the very first time. A series of publishers rejected Narayan’s first novel.

  • The manuscript of Swami and His Friends was sent to English novelist Graham Greene, who recommended it to the famous publisher Hamish Hamilton.

  • Narayan’s style of writing has been compared to that of many literary stalwarts such as Anton Chekov, Guy de Maupassant, and O. Henry.

  • Narayan got a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation in the USA. During this period, he lectured at various institutes such as Michigan State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Famous British writer Somerset Maugham once came to Mysore to meet Narayan but could not find his house as no localite knew Narayan. Maugham later wrote a letter to express his admiration to the author.


  • Narayan’s famous novel The Guide was made into a much-loved Bollywood movie.  The novel also won the Sahitya Akademi Award. The movie was also adapted into a stage representation at the Broadway Theater in New York.

  • Along with his many other awards, Narayan is also a Padma Bhushan and a Padma Vibhshan.

  • Narayan has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature multiple times but did not receive the honor.

  • R. K. Narayan is credited to introduce the genre of Indian English literature to the world along with his contemporaries such as Raja Rao and Mulk Raj Anand.

If you want to know more about The Guide, click here.




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