Rajendra Yadav is regarded as principal architect of the 'New Wave' or the Nayi Kahani (New Story) movement in post-Independence Hindi fiction, which is known for absorbing the spirit of the contemporary India and presenting it in all its starkness .
His wife Mannu Bhandari is also a famous Hindi fiction Writer.
His first novel, Pret Bolte Hain (1951) (Ghosts speak), later renamed as Sara Akash in the 60s, (The Infinite Cosmos), has reportedly sold about one million copies , an enviable figure for any book published in India, and has been translated into almost all Indian languages, and several other languages of the world. Sara Akash became the first Hindi novel which attempted to shock orthodox Indian culture out of its centuries-old slumber. Basu Chatterjee made Sara Akash on it, in 1969 and which along with Mrinal Sen's Bhuvan Shome, launched Parallel Cinema in Hindi .
Ukhre Huey Log, ('The Rootless People) his next novel, depicts the trauma of a couple arising out of socio-economic condition which forced them to desert the conventional path - and, still they failed to acclimatize themselves to a corrupt and devilish world. This novel envisages "living in" concept for the first time.
He wrote two more novels, Kulta (The Wayward Wife'), and Shaah aur Maat ('Check and Mate). He also wrote several stories and translated into Hindi many works of Russian language writers like Turgenev, Chekhov, and Lermontov (A Hero of Our Times), as also Albert Camus (The Outsider).
Besides being a writer, Rajendra Yadav was also a nominated a board member of Prasar Bharti in 1999-2001.