This volume aspires to be a handy reference work for users whose interest is not limited to one or two Indian language literatures but spreads over Sanskrit, Tamil, Pali and the Prakrit as well as to Asimiya, Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sindhi, Telugu and Urdu. Starting with the vedas and the upanishads, the coverage spans several centuries up to the year 1850.
Sujit Mukherjee (1930–2003) was publisher, author, translator, literary critic as well as cricketer and cricket commentor. He was educated in Patna and the University of Pennsylvania from which he earned his PhD. On his return to India, Dr Mukherjee taught at Patna College, the National Defence Academy, and, as it was then known, the University of Poona. In 1970 he joined Orient Longman (now Orient BlackSwan) as Chief Publisher and was later a director on the board of the company. Dr Mukherjee, who was actively involved with writing about Indian literature for almost three decades, was known as much for his prolific and elegant writing as for his wry wit.