Premchand is the most famous Hindi novelist, and Godaan is Premchand's most celebrated novel. Economic and social conflict in a north Indian village are brilliantly captured in the story of Hori, a poor farmer, and his family's struggle for survival and self-respect. Hori does everything he can to fulfill his life's desire: to own a cow, the peasant's measure of wealth and well-being. An engaging introduction to India before Independence, Godaan is at once village ethnography, moving human document, and insightful colonial history. Out of print for many years, this translation is regarded as a classic in itself.
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Premchand (Dhanpat Rai) was born in Banaras in 1880 and died in 1936, a few months after the publication of Godaan. He began writing while teaching at a government school, and adopted this pen name after his first book of short stories was labeled inflammatory and burned by the British colonial government. His other works include Sevesadan, Nirmala, and many other novels and short stories.
Gordon C. Roadarmel (1932-1972) was Assistant Professor of Hindi in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Vasudha Dalmia is Professor of Hindi and Chair of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.Language Notes:
Text: English, Hindi (translation)
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