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Chauhan [née Singh], Subhadra Kumari (1904–1948), poet, short-story writer, and political activist in India, was born on 16 August 1904 in Nihalpur, near Allahabad, United Provinces, India, the third of four daughters and sixth of seven children of Ramnath Singh, building contractor, and his wife, ...

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Harishchandra [known as Bharatendu Harishchandra] (1850–1885), Hindi poet, playwright, and literary editor, was born in Benares, India, on 9 September 1850, into a fabulously wealthy merchant family. The family of his mother, Parvati (d. 1855), had been diwans, or finance ministers, at the Mogul court at ...

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Narayanswami, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer [pseud. R. K. Narayan] (1906–2001), author, was born in Madras, India, on 10 October 1906, the third of eight children of Brahmin parents, R. V. Krishnaswami Iyer, schoolteacher, and his wife, Gnanambal. His formative years were spent not so much with his parents and siblings as in the house of his maternal grandmother in ...

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Rai, Dhanpat [pseud. Nawab Rai, Munshi Premchand] (1880–1936), novelist and short story writer, was born in Lamahi, a village near Benares, India, on 31 July 1880, the second child of Ajaib Lal, a postal clerk, and his wife, Anandi. His father was frequently away on transfer, and ...

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Rao, Raja (1908–2006), novelist, was born on 8 November 1908 in the small town of Hassan, in the princely state of Mysore, India. His mother Gauramma died when he was only four years old. Throughout much of his later writing he placed women on a platonic level of abstract purity, as though he was searching for this lost and idealized parent. He was mainly brought up by his Brahman but Anglicized schoolmaster father, ...

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Swarnakumari Devi (1855–1932), author, was born in Calcutta on 28 August 1855, the fourth daughter of Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905) of the Jorasanko branch of the Tagore family of Bengal, and his wife, Sarada Devi (1826?–1875). The remarkable Tagore family broke new ground in business ventures; in literature, art, and music; and in women's emancipation. They put their heart into a synthesis of the old and the new in the context of British imperial rule in ...