R. K. Narayan was born in Madras in south India and educated in Mysore which had also been his home for over half-a-century now. Narayan
was one of India's most distinguished writers at work today. Through his several novels and short stories, he had created the enchanting fictional world of Malgudi which has captivated his readers throughout the world and, more recently, millions of Indian television viewers who saw TV adaptations of several of his Malgudi stories.
Narayan's books are regularly published in USA, UK and India and have also been widely translated into several European and Indian languages. His novel
The Guide (1958) won the Sahitya Akademi Award, India's highest literary honour. In 1980, Narayan was awarded the A.C. Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature and in 1982 he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1986, he was nominated for a 6-year term to Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament in recognition of his outstanding literary stature.
Apart from The Mahabharata, Narayan had also retold the other great Indian epic
The Ramayana, as well as a selection of Indian legends in Gods, Demons and Others.