Mahasweta Devi, a colossal figure in Bengali literature and a respected social activist, passed away on 28 July 2016 at Kolkata. She was 90.
In a literary career spanning over half-a-century, she wrote over 120 books. Most of her work centred on the lives of the poor and downtrodden.
About Mahasweta Devi
• Mahasweta Devi was born into a family of literary figures in Dhaka in 1926.
• Her first book Jhansi'r Rani (The Queen of Jhansi), came in 1956 when she was teaching at Kolkata's Bijoygarh College.
• She was the author behind award-winning Hindi films Rudaali and Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa.
• Few of her other noted stories are Aranyer Adhikar (The Occupation of the Forest), Agnigarbha (Womb of Fire), Dhowli, Bashai Tudu, Dust on the Road, Till Death Do Us Part, Old Women, etc.
• She was also the founding member of Aboriginal United Association and a tribal magazine named Bortika, which she started in 1980.
• She has almost a 100 novels and over 20 collections of short stories to her name, primarily written in Bengali but often translated to other languages.
• In her 90-year-long life, Devi won the Sahitya Akademi award (1979), the Padma Shree (1986), the Jnanpith (1997), the Magsaysay award (1997) and the Deshikottam award in 1999.
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