Narayan was commissioned by the government of Karnataka to write a book to promote tourism in the state. The work was published as part of a larger government publication in the late 1970s.  He thought it deserved better, and republished it as The Emerald Route (Indian Thought Publications, 1980).  The book contains his personal perspective on the local history and heritage, but being bereft of his characters and creations, it misses his enjoyable narrative.  The same year, he was elected as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and won the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature .  Around the same time, Narayan's works were translated to Chinese for the first time. 
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