Raja Rao was born in 1908 in Hassan. He graduated from Aligarh Muslim University in English and history. With a government scholarship, he then went to study in France, where he married a French academic. He was later appointed to the editorial board of theMercure de France. He made a brief trip to India in 1933 and lived for a while in an ashram before returning to France, after his marriage broke up. He left France shortly before the German invasion. He again lived in ashrams, including in Gandhi's for a short while. He was also active in the struggle against British occupation, which is used as a basis for his first novel,Kanthapura. After the war, he returned to France and then went to the United States where he met and married the actress, Katherine Jones. He taught at the University of Austin for nearly twenty years. He did not publish his second novel -The Serpent and the Rope - till more than twenty years after his first. Amazingly enough, his greatest work -The Chessmaster and His Moves - has never been published in Britain or the United States (though has been distributed there). He died in 2006. Sadly, his legacy seems to have been forgotten after his death and the two remaining novels of the The Chessmaster and His Moves remain unpublished.