Raja Rao has long been recognised as "a major novelist of our
age." His five earlier novels — Kanthapura (1932), The Serpent and the
Rope (1960), The Cat and Shakespeare (1965), Comrade Kirillov
(1976) and The Chessmaster and His Moves (1988) — and three collections
of short stories — The Cow of the Barricades and Other Stories (1947),
The Policeman and the Rose (1978) and On the Ganga Ghat (1989) — won
wide and exceptional international acclaim.
Raja Rao was awarded the 1988 Neustadt International Prize
for Literature which is given every two years to outstanding world writers.
Earlier, The Serpent and the Rope won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi
Award, India’s highest literary honour. More recently, Raja Rao was elected a
Fellow of the Sahitya
Born in Mysore in 1909, Raja Rao went to Europe at the age of
nineteen, researching in literature at the University of Montpellier and at the
Sorbonne. He wrote and published his first stories in French and English. After
living in France for a number of years, Raja Rao moved to the US where he taught
at the University of Austin, Texas.