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by Premchand ,  Snehal Shingavi      (Author ALERT)

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ProductID: 16755 - Hardcover - 312 Pages (Year: 2005)
Oxford University Press ~ ISBN: 0195668995

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One of Premchand’s most successful Hindi novels, Sevasadan is a bold statement on the political and religious debates about marriage, sexuality, and prostitution, at a time when Indian Women were being held up as standard-bearers of a nation in chains.

Premchand depicts the hypocrisy of the so-called pillars of society, who can sacrifice their orthodox principles behind closed doors, yet do not shirk from mouthing moral platitudes in public. He portrays the reality of the interest groups which cut across the newly emerging Hindu-Muslim divide, but also conceives of an ideal community that gives new direction to the life of a fallen woman and allows her to lead a meaningful existence. The stream of idealism that runs through Premchand’s works has often been criticized by scholars, but it is the counterpart of a relentless psychological and social realism, which has remained unmatched to this day.

A hugely popular novel, Sevasadan went through several editions after its first publication in 1918. It was made into a film in 1938 with M S Subbulakshmi in the lead role. It is not only a gripping novel but also a sensitive and perceptive document on the lives of young urban men and women at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The general reader interested in literature, literature in translation, and social history will find this volume invaluable.

Savasadan is the story of Suman, a young woman brought up in luxury, who finds herself locked in an unhappy marriage to an older man living in straitened circumstances Socially neglected and forlorn, she finds instant fame as a courtesan. But this is an era when a rising class of urban intellectuals and social reformers is organizing to remove from the heart of the holy city of Banaras the last remnants of a feudal culture-the courtesans. Suman is dogged by debates between the hedonists, reformers, and religious conservatives, and the solutions they offer threaten to destroy her life and that of those around her.

 Table of Contents

The House of Service or the Chronicle of an Un/holy City




 About the Author

Premchand is a pioneering figure in Modern Hindi literature. One of the initiators of realism in Indian fiction, his reformist stories on the evils of contemporary society proved very popular in his time. Today, his novels and short stories dealing with the quotidian lives of everyday heroes have attained the status of classics. As the greatest Hindi and Urdu writer of pre-independence India, Premchand deserves to be much better known outside his regional milieu; this felicitous translation will enable many readers to appreciate him for themselves.

 Customer Review(s)

Rating: (5 out of 5) M. S. Subbulakshmi
Reviewer: Ram Sriram CFE from Austin, Texas, USA
I recently went to Tiruchi and visited Rasika Ranjana Sabha on the main street. The Theater was adorned by a large picture of F. G. Natesa Aiyer who was the founder of the organization in 1931. Upstairs in the puja room were some more pictures of him and his wife Raja Rajeswari. M.S. Subbulakshmi (Bharat Ratna) acted in the movie role of Seva Sadan, and the male role was of F. G. Natesa Aiyer a great Shakesperean Actor. He was the chairman of the tiruchi minicipal council. In that capacity his name appears at the Rock Temple Adivaram as one who inaugurated the water works in the famous Ganesa Temple. The actor was well known for epic dramas such as Prahalada. Many remember him with reveramnce. I am his grandson Ram Sriram now settled in Austin , Texas


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