Premchand's fiction has been translated before, but seldom did these translations reveal the many facets of his literary genius, nor did they show the wide variety of 'types' he was capable of portraying. For, Premchand wrote not only about villains and martyrs, poverty, rigid social order or caste disparities. His world, seemingly black and white though it is, is also lit by flashes of wit and humour, gentle irony and a persistent social commentary. While Premchand's favourite characters - bhang-drinking pandits, miserable sweepers and arrogant Thakurs - do eature in this collection, this is perhaps the first time that the English reader will be introduced to his 'other' world - a world of unbelievably good men, lovesick young girls, and a penniless braggart's self-delusion.
Dr Rakhshanda Jalil (born 21 July 1963) is a well known Indian writer, critic and literary historian. She is best known for the much-acclaimed book on Delhi's lesser-known monuments called Invisible City: The Hidden Monuments of India and a well-received collection of short stories, called Release & Other Stories (Harper Collins, 2011). Her Ph.D. on the Progressive Writers' Movement as reflected in Urdu Literature has been published by Oxford University Press as Liking Progress, Loving Change (2014). Rakhshanda Jalil runs an organization called Hindustani Awaaz, devoted to the popularization of Hindi-Urdu literature and culture.