Munshi Premchand, widely lauded as the greatest Hindi fiction writer of the twentieth century, wrote close to 300 short stories over the course of a prolific career spanning three decades. His range and diversity were limitless as he tackled themes of romance and satire, gender politics and social inequality, with unmatched skill and compassion. By turns poignant, acerbic, comical and tragic, many of his stories powerfully invoke the countryside-its pastoral simplicity as well as its harsh realities-while others capture the hopes and anxieties that accompany life in a teeming city where the underdog and the exploiter are caught in an age-old conflict.
For the first time ever, Penguin Classics brings together Premchand's entire short-fiction oeuvre for the delight of the English-speaking world. Along with M. Asaduddin's illuminating Introduction, this pathbreaking anthology
features several stories not hitherto available either in Hindi or Urdu. Also included are comprehensive notes that provide the publication history of each story-highlighting the differences, sometimes significant and radical, between the Hindi and the Urdu versions of the same story-as well as a definitive chronology, making this a truly singular collection
Premchand (1880-1936) is one of the most celebrated writers of the Indian subcontinent, widely praised for his contribution to modern Hindi-Urdu literature. A writer of numerous short stories, plays and novels, his work has shaped the landscape of Hindi literature in particular. His novel Godaan is still considered the greatest Hindi novel ever written. Several of his stories and novels have been adapted for film and television.
M. Asaduddin is a renowned author, critic and translator. His work has been recognized with the Sahitya Akademi Prize, and the Katha and A.K. Ramanujan awards for translation. Most recently, his translation of Ismat Chughtai's "A Life in Words: Memoirs", published in Penguin Classics, won the Economist Crossword Book Award 2013 for Best Indian Language Translation.