R.K Narayan Books To Be Read Once In Your Lifetime

Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami was an Indian writer who wrote novels set in the fictional town of Malgudi in South India. Contemporary in all its ways, Narayan highlights the social context and everyday life with his characterization. Simplistic and relatable, many of his books showcase the culture and heritage of the country. His writings are often compared to the Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner who reflected the humour and energy of ordinary life through his books.

In over sixty years of his career, Narayan received various awards and honours including the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature and the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, India’s second and third highest civilian awards. He was also an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Literature.

R.K Narayan Books

Price Rating
The Guide Rs.115


Swami And Friends

Rs.83 4.6/5
Malgudi Days Rs.145


The English Teacher

Rs.112 4.4/5
The Bachelor Of Arts Rs.99


The Dark Room

Rs.138 4.1/5
The Man-Eater Of Malgudi Rs.134


My Dateless Diary

Rs.200 3.6/5
The Vendor Of Sweets Rs.95


My Days



1. The Bachelor Of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts is based on the complex transition of an adolescent mind into adulthood and the heartbreak that the youth faces. Revolving around the character Chandran and his love interest, Malani, the book captures the essence of love, its earth-shattering reality and also its ability to restore faith in life.

Year Of Publication: 1937

Price: Rs.99

2. The Dark Room

The Dark Room is centered on the characters Savitri, a submissive housewife and Ramani, her husband who works at the Engladia Insurance Company. The book showcases domestic problems between the husband and wife and how they tackle them. Sympathetic and touching, this tale paints a real picture of the society.

Year Of Publication: 1938

Price: Rs.138

3. Malgudi Days

Malgudi Days is a collection of 32 short stories set in the fictional town of Malgudi. Each of these stories depicts a facet of life in this town and the problems faced by the nation during that era. Powerful and magical, this composition reveals the essence of India and of human experiences. The book was also adapted as a series in 1986.

Year Of Publication: 1945

Price: Rs.145

4. The English Teacher

The English Teacher is a novel that revolves around Krishna, an English teacher. Blessed with delightful domestic life, Krishna is married to Sushila and has a daughter. But, the sudden death of his wife changes his life forever. Devastated, he is left to take care of his daughter alone. The book promises its readers a magical blend of tragedy and humour.

Year Of Publication: 1945

Price: Rs.112

5. The Guide

The Guide is a novel that accounts the transformation of Raju from a corrupt tour guide to one of the greatest holy men of India. His journey is described through a series of hilarious and ironic circumstances. Raju’s history of success and unexpected fame forms the plot of this suspense story. The book was also adapted for a film in 1965 and for theatre in 1968.

Year Of Publication: 1958

Number Of Copies Sold: 20,000 copies in 2007

Price: Rs.115

Awards:  Sahitya Akademi Award in 1960

6. Swami And Friends

Swami and Friends was Narayan’s first book featuring the famous trilogy of Swami, a ten-year-old boy and his friends, Rajam and Mani. Once Swami is removed from his group of school friends, his adventures start to begin. The book portrays complexities faced by the Indian middle class and the troubles of boyhood. Written with a pinch of humour, this one is sure to take you back to your childhood days.

Year Of Publication: 1958

Price: Rs.83

7. My Dateless Diary

Written during the late fifties, My Dateless Diary is a collection of autobiographical essays describing Narayan’s travel experiences in the US. From the clamour and energy of New York to the friendliness of the West Coast, Narayan pens down the essential aspects of American life in the form of a travelogue. If fascinating lands intrigue you, then this one is a must read.

Year Of Publication: 1960

Price: Rs.200

8. The Man-Eater Of Malgudi

The Man-Eater of Malgudi highlights the tale of an Indian printer named Nataraj and his two friends, a poet and a journalist. Their congenial days are disturbed when Vasu, a powerful taxidermist moves in with a search of some larger game. He ends up threatening the life of a temple elephant that Nataraj has befriended. Tragic yet laughable, the pages are filled with twists that will keep you entertained.

Year Of Publication: 1961

Price: Rs.134

9. The Vendor Of Sweets

The Vendor of Sweets is a biographical piece of a fictional character, Jagan who is a sweet vendor in the town of Malgudi. The book reflects upon the generation gap between Jagan and his son, Mali, their constant conflicts and how he finally escaped the galling chain of paternal love. This novel beautifully illustrates different generations and cultures.

Year Of Publication: 1967

Price: Rs.95

10. My Days

The autobiography of R.K. Narayan, My Days accounts for the growing years of the legendary writer and novelist. Written with a dash of humour, the memoir gives an intricate picture of Narayan’s life starting from his childhood days with his grandmother in Chennai.

Year Of Publication: 1967

Price: Rs.195

Archita Minocha
Archita Minocha

Striking a perfect balance between work and fun, Archita is a voracious soul, always on a lookout for new opportunities. She couples her innate creativity with coherence to unfurl magic through her words. Adhering to her pursuit of happiness, she believes in living life on her own terms.

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