BETWEEN RESISTANCE AND CONFORMITY: Premchand’s Fiction in Colonial North India
The book examines the questions of conformity and resistance with respect to Premchand’s literary works. Mapping the various complexities, challenges, and contradictions of interwar India, it demonstrates how the passive peasant protagonists of Premchand’s fiction espouse a diametrically opposed definition of dharma or moral duty as compared to their dissident nationalist counterparts. Through a relatively similar logic of comparative assessment, it further foregrounds the fundamental asymmetry that exists between Premchand’s literary representations of women as compliant domestic subjects and those that portray them as rebel patriots of colonial North India. The book juxtaposes several genres, including novels, short stories, letters, and journalistic writings to offer a compelling reconsideration of one of the most anthologised and scrutinised authors of Urdu-Hindi literatures.
Historically anchored and having a broad interdisciplinary appeal, this monograph will interest scholars of peasant narratives, nationalist fiction, and gender studies.
Shailendra Kumar Singhis Assistant Professor of IIT Tirupati, India. He is the youngest recipient of the Meenakshi Mukherjee Memorial Prize for the best published academic paper in India, 2016-17, awarded by Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies. His research interests include peasant narratives, gender studies, nationalist fiction and Premchand’s literary corpus.