Charming and cultivated, Nirmala's only sin is her failure to get a husband who would accept her without a dowry. She is married off to a widower... This novel captures the depth of suffering of the characters Nirmala comes in contact with, and yet the book does not fall into melodrama that would have happened with any lesser writer.
The realistic dramatisation of the family events is peculiarly Indian, but based on universal human experience, transcending geographical boundaries and barriers of culture.
Translated from Hindi by David Rubin, former Prof. Columbia University.
'...a story of Indian ethos and its cultural impact.' — Dr Ganga Prasad Vimal, Hindi Literary Critic
'It is good to find that Indian writing is making a mark in other world languages. Premchand's novel translated into English by Rubin as The Second Wife is one such fine example...' — The Hindu
'This bitter melodrama has aged well... Nirmala is a fine introduction to the work of a 20th-century master of Hindi literature.' — Virginia Quarterly Review, USA