R. K. Narayan, one of the most famous Indo-Anglian writers, was born in 1907 in Madras and settled down in Mysore. He is famous among readers for his best novels Swami and Friends, Mr . Sampath, The Bachelor of Arts and The Guide. He received the Sahitya Academy Award for ‘The Guide’ in 1958.
R. K. Narayan has written a large number of short stories which have been collected and published in six volumes – Dodu and Other Stories, Malgudi Days, Cyclone and Other Stories, Lawley Road and Other Stories, Astrologer’s Days and Other Stories, A Horse and Two Goats. Many of the stories in these collections were first published in the leading Madras daily, The Hindu. He also contributed some stories to leading American journals like The Reporter, The New Yorker, Vogue and others.
R. K. Narayan’s stories belong to the Indian soil and are redolent of its culture. His stories depict South Indian life and his view of the world and those who live in it. Simple but fascinating plot, lively characterization, strict economy of narration and elegant simplicity of language are features of his short stories.
Narayan’s stories produce one single vivid effect. They seize the attention of the reader from the outset. His purpose does not seem to be moral and didactic like that of Aesop’s or Tolstoy’s. However, fate does play its part in some of his stories. His stories attract both foreign and Indian students. His stories serve a good introduction to the foreigner who wants to know Indian life.