Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 019 565 320 3
This very reliable translation by David Rubin will enable readers not conversant in Hindi to sample some of Premchand's best stories.
This collection contains 12 best stories of Premchand, and with one exception, have women as their central characters. And for the most part, the particular virtues he felt they embody.
In a great many of his stories Premchand assigns the heroic role to women. This collection brings together several of these, many of them previously untranslated, with an introduction which outlines Premchand's life and works.
The stories present a wide variety of feminine portraits - mothers, daughters, wives, widows and prostitutes - both realistic and idealized, sometimes tragic, sometimes tinged with satire, but always compassionate. In the field of Hindi fiction he was a pioneer in the treatment of the man-woman relationship, daring to tackle such subjects as infidelity and prostitution.
It may be difficult for the present-day reader to realize how radical these stories were in their time. Premchand revolutionized the Hindi novel and short story by lifting it from the realm of fantasy and romance to the level of modern realism.
David Rubin was Visiting Professor at Columbia University. A widely-published writer, his works of fiction include 'The Greater Darkness which won the British Authors Club Award for best first novel, and 'Cassio and the Live Divine. Among his translation works are 'The World of Premchand, 'A Season on the Earth: The Poetry of Nirala, 'Nirmala' (Premchand) and 'The Return of Sarasvati: Four Hindi Poets.