The Greatest Hindi Stories Ever Told – selected & translated by Poonam Saxena


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The twenty-five stories in The Greatest Hindi Stories Ever Told represent the finest short fiction in Hindi literature. Selected and translated by editor, writer, and translator Poonam Saxena, and ranging from early literary masters of the form such as Premchand, Chandradhar Sharma Guleri, Bhisham Sahni, Harishankar Parsai, Mannu Bhandari, and Shivani to contemporary greats such as Asghar Wajahat, Uday Prakash, Sara Rai, and others, the collection has stories of darkness, hope, triumph, anger, and irony.

In Premchand’s ‘The Thakur’s Well’, ‘low-caste’ Gangi struggles to find drinking water for her ill husband; in ‘The Times Have Changed’ by Krishna Sobti, the matriarch Shahni bids a heart-breaking farewell to her village during Partition; Krishna Baldev Vaid’s ‘Escape’ is a telling story about women’s yearning for freedom; Yashpal’s ‘Phoolo’s Kurta’ is a sharp commentary on child marriage and notions of female modesty; in Bhisham Sahni’s ‘A Feast for the Boss’ and Usha Priyamvada’s ‘The Homecoming’, ageing parents find themselves tragically out of sync with their family; Amarkant’s ‘City of Death’ looks at the fragile thread that holds together communal peace; Phanishwarnath Renu’s ‘The Third Vow’ features the lovable bullock-cart driver Hiraman; Bhagwaticharan Varma’s ‘Atonement’ and Harishankar Parsai’s ‘The Soul of Bholaram’ are scathing satires; and ‘Tirich’ by contemporary writer Uday Prakash is a surreal tale—these and other stories in the collection are compelling, evocative, and showcase an unforgettable range of brilliant styles, forms, and themes.

Chandradhar Sharma Guleri


Bhagwaticharan Verma



Bhisham Sahni

Phanishwarnath Renu

Harishankar Parsai


Krishna Sobti

Krishna Baldev Vaid

Rajendra Yadav

Mohan Rakesh


Usha Priyamvada

Mannu Bhandari



Doodhnath Singh

Omprakash Valmiki


Shekhar Joshi

Asghar Wajahat

Uday Prakash

Sara Rai


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