(Alternate spellings: Premchand, Prem Chand)
Pseudonym of Dhanpat Ray Srivastava, Indian author. Born near Banaras, in Uttar Pradesh, in 1880, died 1936.
Born into a family of clerks, Premcand was educated as a scribe (indeed, he is often called "Munshi Premcand", munshi meaning "scribe" or "clerk"). His first works were written in Urdu, but it was not until he began writing in Hindi that he achieved international fame, most significantly with Godan ("The Gift of a Cow", 1936). All told, he produced a dozen novels, and hundreds of short stories.
With realistic story milieux and with an undeniable elegance of language, Premcand concentrated on depicting the harsh living conditions of the rural populace. He remains an exemplar of both Urdu and Hindi prose literature.
Selected works in English translation:
Films based on Premcand's stories: