Premchand's novellaNirmala, first published in 1928, is one of the most poignant novels in Hindi on the theme of the young adolescent yoked to an elderly husband. Clearly reformist in its agenda, this novel succeeds in exploring sensitive and even dangerous terrain. Alok Rai's English translation includes an Afterword which takes note of the novel's special context, placing it in perspective and making a contemporary reading of the work possible.
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