1st Edition

Between Resistance and Conformity Premchand’s Fiction in Colonial North India

By Shailendra Kumar Singh Copyright 2025
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the questions of conformity and resistance with respect to Premchand’s literary corpus. Mapping the various complexities, challenges, and contradictions of interwar India, it demonstrates how the passive peasant protagonists of the writer’s fictional works present a diametrically opposed definition of dharma as compared to their dissident nationalist counterparts. Through a relatively similar logic of comparative assessment, it further foregrounds the fundamental asymmetry that exists between Premchand’s literary representations of women as compliant domestic subjects and those that portray them as rebel patriots of colonial North India. Juxtaposing several genres, including novels, short stories, letters, and journalistic writings to offer a reconsideration of Premchand's work, this book will interest scholars of peasant narratives, nationalist fiction, and gender studies.

    Print edition not for sale in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan or Bhutan)




    1. Peasants’ Conformity or the Prose of Counter-Insurgency?

    2. Nationalism and the Question of Civil Resistance

    3. Between Conformity and Resistance: Shifting Ideals of Womanhood?

    4. Hidden Transcripts and Everyday Forms of Resistance in Premchand’s Fiction




    Shailendra Kumar Singh