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Novelist R. K. Narayan Dies, 94

May 13, 2001

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Novelist R. K. Narayan, who depicted life in India with a simple, graceful style and a humorous touch, died Sunday after suffering heart and lung trouble in a hospital, the Press Trust of India news agency said. He was 94.

Narayan was hospitalized with cardiovascular problems two weeks ago in Madras, the capital of southern state of Tamil Nadu, where he was born in 1906. The news agency quoted doctors as saying he died of cardio-respiratory failure.

Narayan, who wrote in English, traveled extensively and began his career as a teacher in 1930, but soon took to journalism and became a full-time writer two years later. His first novel, ``Swami and Friends,″ published in 1935, was based on his experiences as a village schoolteacher.

Narayan first became known in the West when his works won the praise of English author Graham Greene. His first work to be published in the United States was ``the Financial Expert,″ in 1952.

Some of his most famous novels are ``The Guide,″ ``Bachelor of Arts,″ ``The Man-Eater of Malgudi″ and ``Malgudi Days.″

Most of Narayan’s books are set in India and offer witty, perceptive descriptions of Indian life, delivered in a graceful and straightforward style.

Narayan was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1958 he won the Sahitya Academy, an Indian literary award, for ``The Guide,″ which was made into a film by an Indian director.

He is survived by a son-in-law, a granddaughter, a grandson and a younger brother, R. K. Laxman, a well-known cartoonist who works with The Times Of India newspaper. Narayan’s wife and daughter died earlier.

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