My Life And Times Premchand

Madan Gopal

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A unique ‘autobiography’ of one of the greatest storytellers of our times, Munshi Premchand, recreated from his works by the man regarded as ‘Premchand’s Boswell’, Madan Gopal. Often compared to Gorky and Tolstoy, Premchand was not only a versatile writer of short stories, novels, dramas and essays, but also played an active role in the country freedom movement. His stories took birth from the lives of the common people, their vicissitudes and deprivations, as well as their small joys and victories. Premchand rebelled against narrow religious bigotry and, in fighting it through his writing, he imbued a whole generation with the idea of a new social order of justice and equality. The author, Madan goal, has based his narrative on a study of almost everything of consequence written by or on Premchand in Hindi and Urdu, including numerous unpublished letters written by and to Premchand which provide an intimate knowledge of the man, The writer and the thinker. Madan Gopal’s deep study of the writer whom he revered has enabled him to tell the story of his life almost as the master storyteller would have told it himself. For all aficionados of Munshi Premchand, this is a book that must find a place on their shelves.

Madan Gopal was born in 1919 at Hansi, Hissar and educated at CAV High School, Hissar, St Stephen’s College, Delhi and Punjab University. He carved a niche for himself in the world of literary biographies. Considered as ‘Premchand’s Boswell’, he wrote the first ever book on the life and work of Munshi Premchand in 1944, followed, 20 years later, by a full-length literary biography. His translation of Premchand’s short stories into English was published as The Shroud and Twenty-one other Stories of Premchand. He has also collected and published Premchand’s letters in two volumes. According to the Times Literary Supplement, ‘He has been largely responsible for introducing to Western readers the stories and novels of Premchand.’ Authentic, complete and accurate, his books are considered basic source material on Premchand. A newspaperman for over 18 years, working with the Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, the Indian Express and the Statesman, Madan Gopal was also a civil servant for 24 years, retiring in 1977 and is the author of over 25 books, including the first book in English on Bharatendu Harischandra, regarded as the father of modern Hindi, the first literary biography of Goswami Tulsi Das and a novel, Naye Mode Par, which has been the subject of intense discussion in Hindi literary circles.

Roli Books
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Published Date
24 / 02 / 2006

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