Premchand is the nom de plume of Dhanpat Rai Srivastava. Born in a village near Benares in 1881, Premchand started his literary career in 1901 and continued it till his death in 1936. In this period of nearly 35 years, he wrote over two hundred and twenty short stories and nearly twelve novels, besides a number of articles, biographical sketches and translations. Not even the surface has been scratched in presenting Premchand to the English reader. The present translator knows of only two works, which have appeared so far in English. One is "Short Stories of Premchand", translated by Gurdial Mullick and published by Nalanda Publications, Bombay, in 1946. This is a collection of eleven stories. The second is "A Handful of Wheat and other Stories", published by the Peoples' Publishing House Ltd., New Delhi. This is a collection of fifteen stories but four of these have appeared in the Nalanda Publications book in a different translation.
Besides the above, it is not possible to trace out other works of Premchand which have been translated into English, although it is certain that a number of stories must have been translated and have appeared from time to time in various Indian newspapers and magazines.
Of works on Premchand in English there is an equal paucity and the present translator knows of only one "Premchand" by Madan Gopal, published by Bookabode, Lahore, in 1944. This is a small book of 126 pages. and is invaluable inasmuch as it is the only book of its kind available in English and contains a copious bibliography of Premchand's works both in Hindi and Urdu.