R. K. Narayan was born on October 10, 1906 in Madras, Brtitsh India. He graduated from Maharaja College of Mysore with a B.A. degree in 1930. All of his many novels take place in Malgudi, an imaginary town in southern India that serves as a kind of "golden mean", neither a large, impersonal city nor an obscure, isolated village, through which Narayan explores the dilemmas of modernization. For example, The Bachelor of Arts is the story of a sensitive youth caught in a conflict between Western ideas of love and marriage instilled in him by his education and the still-traditional milieu in which he lives. Malgudi is a microcosm of modern India, and throughout Narayan's novels, which span more than 50 years of India's growth, we can watch Malgudi's inhabitants evolve in precisely the same way that their hometown does. Narayan's wit and literary skill have made him a favorite with readers all over the world. He died of typhoid in 1939.
Born in 1904, Graham Greene was the son of a headmaster and the fourth of six children. Preferring to stay home and read rather than endure the teasing at school that was a by-product of his father's occupation, Greene attempted suicide several times and eventually dropped out of school at the age of 15. His parents sent him to an analyst in London who recommended he try writing as therapy. He completed his first novel by the time he graduated from college in 1925. Greene wrote both entertainments and serious novels. Catholicism was a recurring theme in his work, notable examples being The Power and the Glory (1940) and The End of the Affair (1951). Popular suspense novels include: The Heart of the Matter, Our Man in Havana and The Quiet American. Greene was also a world traveler and he used his experiences as the basis for many books. One popular example, Journey Without Maps (1936), was based on a trip through the jungles of Liberia. Greene also wrote and adapted screenplays, including that of the 1949 film, The Third Man, which starred Orson Welles. He died in Vevey, Switzerland in 1991.