Monday, May 14, 2001,  Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Novelist R K Narayan dead

Chennai, May 13
R. K. Narayan, who put Indian fiction writing in English on the world map, died this morning following a cardio-respiratory failure, according to hospital sources here.

Narayan was 95 and is survived by his son-in-law C. S. Chandrasekharan and two grandchildren, his wife having predeceased him.

The nonagenarian English novelist, brother of great cartoonist R. K Laxman, was admitted to a private hospital on April 27 last following cardio-vascular problems.

Narayan was cremated at the Besant Nagar crematorium here this morning. His nephew R. S. Jayaram performed the last rites.

Unlike many Indian writers in English, Narayan did not try to sell exotic India to a mystified West but sought to put across experiences of the Indian middle class on issues universal in a language which was simple and yet elegant and humorous.

Narayan, a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1964, started his career as a journalist in Mysore and later took to writing novels. Of the 34 novels, ‘The Guide’ was made into a film. His famous novels included ‘Bachelor of Arts’, ‘The Man Eater of Malgudi’, ‘The Financial Expert’ and ‘Malgudi Days’

His works were translated into most European languages as well as in Hebrew. His awards included the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy and Sahitya Akademi, in 1958 for ‘The Guide’.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Narayan was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1989.

NEW DELHI: President K. R. Narayanan, Vice-President Krishan Kant and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today expressed profound grief at the death of Narayan, saying that India had lost one of its finest authors.

Terming Narayan as a man of commitment, responsibility and concern for future of the country, Mr Narayanan, in his message, said, “I join the nation in paying my homage to this great wizard of pen as he attains literary immortality whose currency and readership will only increase with the passage of time.

Leading Indian writers also paid glowing tributes to Narayan and one of them said naming a South Indian town after Malgudi would be the best way to honour him.

“To name an actual town after Malgudi would be a fitting tribute to his career as a writer,’’ said Khushwant Singh.

The imaginary town, Malgudi, was a fictional representation of Mysore where Narayan studied, taught and later wrote many of his works. PTI

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