Charming and cultivated, Nirmala's only sin is her failure to get a husband who would accept her without a dowry. She is married off to a widower... This novel captures the depth of suffering of the characters Nirmala comes in contact with, and yet the book does not fall into melodrama that would have happened with any lesser writer.
The realistic dramatisation of the family events is peculiarly Indian, but based on universal human experience, transcending geographical boundaries and barriers of culture.
About the author
PREMCHAND (1880-1936). Born in Lamhi village near Varanasi in north India as Dhanpat Rai, Premchand’s realistic writings highlighted the social milieu through a multi-faceted portrayal of human nature. The 12 novels, 300 or so short stories (most of them collected in an 8-volume set called Mansarovar and in Soz-e-Watan), plays and numerous essays — all add up to make him not only one of the most prolific but also marvellously creative writers, who came to be regarded as the spokesman of the disinherited and the downtrodden. The Second Wife (titled Nirmala in Hindi) represents a high-water mark of Premchand’s genius as a creator of realistic fiction.
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