A Winter’s Night and Other Stories


Author: Premchand
Translated by Rakhshanda Jalil

9780143330387 | PB | pp. 168 | 2007 | Penguin Random House India

This is a collection of Premchand’s most powerful short stories for young readers. These mirror Indian society, its traditions and values.

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Ten classic stories from the master of Hindi literature. Nearly a century after they were written, Premchand’s numerous short stories, novels and plays, written both in Hindi and Urdu, continue to be a mirror to Indian society and its traditions. A Winter’s Night and Other Stories brings together, for young readers, some of his most powerful short stories. This is a world inhabited by people like Halku, forced to spend the bitterly cold winter night in the open, without a blanket; Kaki, the old invalid aunt, ill-treated by her own relatives; and Shankar, reduced to being a bonded labor for the sake of a handful of wheat. Premchand describes their plights with unflinching honesty. Yet all is not hopeless in this world. There is also little Hamid, who buys tongs for his old grandmother rather than toys for himself; Ladli, who saves her share of puris for her blind aunt; and Big Brother, trying in vain to remember the strange names of English kings and queens. Greed, dishonesty, cruelty abound in this world, as do kindness, bravery and humor. These ten stories are an ideal introduction to Premchand and his concerns and ideas that remain relevant to this day.

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Translator: Rakhshanda Jalil




Penguin Random House India





Year of Publication:






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About the Author

The author (1880-1936), considered one of the greatest fiction writers in Hindi, was born Dhanpat Rai in Lamahi, a small village near Benares. He wrote in Urdu under the name Nawab Rai and changed it to Premchand when his collection of short stories, Soz-e Watan, was seized for sedition in 1909. In a prolific career spanning three decades, he wrote fourteen novels, two plays, almost 300 short stories and several articles, reviews and editorials. He edited four journals, and also set up his own printing press. Though best known for his stories exposing the horrors of poverty and social injustice, he wrote on a variety of themes with equal felicity-romance, satire, social dramas, nationalist tales, and yarns steeped in folklore.


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