About the Book :
Swami And Friends narrates the story of ten-year-old Swaminathan, who is known to his friends and family as Swami. In this book, R. K. Narayan takes readers through Swamis experiences and adventures in the fictional village of Malgudi.
Swami studies in the Albert Mission School, which is a British-established institution that is dedicated to spreading Christianity and English Literature. His family comprises five people, his mother, his sibling, his authoritarian father, of whom hes rather afraid, and a grandmother who happens to be Swamis only confidant and comforter at home.
As the book begins, readers are introduced to Swamis closest pals, Rajam and Mani, two boys of disparate natures. Mani is a crude and naive simpleton, and his friendship is something that Swami cherishes. Rajam, who all the boys stand in awe of, is unlike the rest of the boys in every respect, from his attire to his mannerisms. He represents the upper middle class section of the society, with his fur cap and stylish coat.
The novel is staged in the pre-Independence period, and R.K. Narayan brings out the dangerous combination of naivety and patriotism through Swami and his peers. Overwhelmed by the spirit of nationalism during the 1930s, Swami begins to protest, and is expelled from school.
Dejected with the turn of events in his life and the pressure from his father, Swami runs away from home, far from his troubles. The book traces his life through such turbulence, marking the simplicity of Swamis affections and relationships.
Swami And Friends was Narayans first novel and was first published in 1935.
About the Author :
R. K. Narayan was an Indian novelist and one of the eminent faces of early Indian literature in English.
His novels are based in a fictitious village called Malgudi. Some of his books are The Financial Expert, The Man-Eater Of Malgudi, The Guide, Waiting For The Mahatma, and A Tiger For Malgudi. Narayans non-fiction books are Next Sunday, My Dateless Diary, The Emerald Route, and A Writers Nightmare. He also authored/retold Gods Demons and Others, The Ramayana, and The Mahabharata, which fall under the genre of mythology.
R. K. Narayans stories generally dealt with the personalities and interactions of people in the Indian society. His stories held emotions and implicit satire, and the essence of his books were conveyed gracefully in simple and humorous prose.
Born in Madras on 10th October, 1906, Narayan was nicknamed Kunjappa by his grandmother. By virtue of the rather transferable nature of his fathers job, Narayan was brought up mainly by his grandmother, from whom he learnt arithmetic, Sanskrit, mythology and classical music. He completed his academic learning with a Bachelors degree, and his career began with writing for newspapers and magazines, before his rise to fame. In 1933, Narayan met 15-year-old Rajam, with whom he fell in love. Six years into their marriage, Rajam was afflicted with a fatal case of typhoid, and passes away in the year 1939. R.K. Narayan lived till the age of 94, and breathed his last in Madras, in the year 2001.