R. K. Narayan, October 10, 1906 - May 13, 2001 Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayanaswami was born in Madras on October 10, 1906. He was one of several children, born to middle class parents. He was raised a Tamil Brahmin, an intellectually gifted caste in India. His father was the headmaster at a government education service, through which he traveled much, and his mother was relatively frail, so Narayan was primarily raised by his grandmother. He attended the Maharaja of Mysore's Collegiate High School and graduated from the college in 1930. He attempted to teach for a bit but then switched to writing full time, which soon became his passion. After his wife's death, Narayan wrote many stories of "true identity" and the search for lost loved ones. At the age of 29, he published his first book, "Swami and Friends" in Britain in 1935. The book had been rejected many times, but it eventually made it and so began Narayan's career. He has published nearly three dozen novels and a few short story collections as well as a memoir and many essays. No few of his works are on plights of the environment and starving children, an example of his humanitarianism. He became his own publisher when war cut him off from Britain and wrote for some newspapers and magazines. Narayan has received many Indian awards as well as British, including the Padma Bhushan, India's highest prize. He was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and many of his manuscripts reside in American Universities. He was one of the first Indians to write in English and gain international recognition. R. K. Narayan died on May 13, 2001 at the age of 94.