The birth name of Munshi Premchand (1880 – 1936) was Dhanpat Rai Srivastav. He was such a prolific write of Hindi Novels that he is known as Upanyas Samrta (King of Novels). He first wrote with a pen name “Nawab Rai”, but subsequently switched to “Premchand”. His works include more than a dozen novels, around 250 short stories, several essays and translations of a number of foreign literary works into Hindi. His first work was Asrar-e-Ma’abid (Urdu) or Devasthan Rahasya (Hindi) published in 1903.
Premchand was the first Hindi author whose writings prominently featured realism, depicting rationalistic outlook. His work arouses the public awareness about various social issues. His works often depict the menace of corruption, child widowhood, prostitution, feudal system, poverty, colonialism and freedom struggle. His novels describe the problems of the poor and the urban middle-class.
Godaan (1936) was Munshi Premchand’s last completed work and is generally accepted as his best novel. The protagonist, Hori, a poor peasant, desperately longs for a cow, a symbol of wealth and prestige in rural India. Other important works are Seva Sadan, Rangbhoomi, Pratigya, Kayakalp, Gaban, Kamabhoomi etc.