Sawnet - Bookshelf -
was born in 1926 in Dhaka, to literary parents. Her father Manish Ghatak was
a poet and a novelist, and her mother Dharitri Devi was also a writer and a
social worker. Her first schooling was in Dhaka, but after the partition of
India she moved to West Bengal in India. She joined Vishvabharati University
in Santiniketan and completed a B.A. (Hons) in English, and then finished an
M.A. in English at Calcutta University.
Mahasweta Devi started writing at a young age, and contributed short stories to
various literary magazines. Her first novel, Nati, was published in 1957
Among her masterpieces are Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, Rudali, Bioscoper Baksho,
and Chatti Munda O Tar Tir.
She writes about the lives of ordinary men and women, particularly
Adivasi (tribal) people like the Santhals,
Lodhas, Shabars and Mundas, and other topics of social and political relevance.
Hazaar Chaursai ki Maa has recently been filmed.
She is also an activist and
has spent many years crusading for the rights of the tribals. Among her many
awards is the Jnanpith Award (India's highest literary award) in 1996, and
the Magsaysay Award in 1997, the Asian equivalent of the Nobel prize. Newsclips
- Rediff Interview.
- Dilip D'Souza on
the plight of the Pardhi tribals.
- Mahasweta Devi
wins the Magsaysay award
on being Indian, India Today, July 1997.
About the film
- Film director Govind
Nihalani on the sets of Hazaar Chaurasi ki Ma
- Jaya Bachchan
returns to films in Hazaar Chaurasi ki Ma
and review of movie
- (Glowing) review of
the film from Indian Express
Translations of her work:
- Dopdi, Sthanadhaayini (Breast feeder), Makar Shavar, Salt
have been translated by Sreemathi H.S., and published by
Prakashana,Bangalore 560 020(1996).
- Hajaar chauraasir maa( Mother of 1084), Rudaali are
translated by Sreemathi H.S. and published in separate volumes
Prakashana,Bangalore 560 004 (1998). Karnataka Sahitya Akademi named
the first as the best translation of a creative work for 1998.
- Kulaputra (The Son), Hunt, Doulathi & Pterodectele,Puran Sahai and
Pirtha were translated by Sreemathi H.S. and
are published in a single volume by CVG
publications,Bangalore 560 003 (2000).
- The story "Basai Tudu" has been translated in Japanese, Italian, and
- In Hindi, most of her works can be found from "Radhakrishna
- In Malayalam, "The mother of 1084", and "Aranyer Adhikaar" were
translated by Lila Sarkar. Can be found from D.C. Books, Kollaiya,
and Kerala Shabdam, kerala - 1.
- In Telugu, "Shrishri-ganesh-mahima", "The mother of 1084", and
Adhikar" were translated by Geeta Rangaswami. Publisher: Hyderabad Book
Trust, Himayat Nagar, Hyderabad 20.
- In Gujrati, "Aranyer Adhikar" was translated by Sukanya Javeri.
Publisher, Sadbhab Prakashan, Ahmedabad.
- In Marathi, several of her books are avaliable from SriVidya
Astobhuja Road, Pune.
- In Oriya, "Aranyer Adhikar" was translated by Anant Mahapatra.
Grantha Mandir, Cuttack.
- In Ho language, "Aranyer Adhikar" was translated by Pashupati
Seagull, India. (2002)
- The Book of the Hunter
Seagull India. (2002)
- Breast Stories
Seagull, Calcutta (1997)
- Translated into English by Gayatri Chakraborty Spivak. This book contains the translation of "choli ke piche" (behind the bodice) along with two more extraordinary short stories.
- Outcastes and Oppression. Review in Parabaas.
- Five Plays
Seagull, 1986 (1997)
- Translated into English by Shamik Bandyopadhyay. Includes "Mother of 1084", "aajir", "baayen", "Urbashi and Johni" and "Water"
- Mother of 1084
Seagull, Calcutta. (1997)
- Translated into English by Shamik Bandyopadhyay.
- Imaginary Maps: three stories
Routledge, NY. (1995)
- "The hunt", "Doulat the bountiful", Terodactyle, Puron Sahay and Pirtha". Translation into English and Introduction by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
- Basai Tudu
Thima, Calcutta (1993)
- Translated into EnglisBy Gayatri Chakraborty Spivak and Shamik Bandyopadhyay. It contains two famous stories: "Operation Basai Tudu" & "Draupadi".
- Of Women, Outcasts, Peasants, and Rebels
University of California Press. (1990)
- Translated into English By Kalpana Bardhan. This includes six stories: "Paddy seeds", "dhouli", "The funeral weller", "Strange children", "Witch hunt", "Miribala"
CVG Publications, Bangalore (1989)
- Contains Kulaputra (The Son), Hunt, Doulathi & Pterodectele,Puran Sahai and Pirtha. Translated into Kannada by Sreemathi H.S.
- Dust on the Road: The activist writings of Mahaseta Devi
Seagull, Calcutta. (1989)
- A collection of her activist prose including most of her articles in English, several Bengali pieces in translation, and editorials from her journal Bortika. Translated into English by Maitrayee Ghatak.
- In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics
Methuyen and Company. New York, London (1987)
- Translated into English by Gayatri Chakraborty Spivak. This one has "Draupadi" and "Stanodayani"
- Ek-kori's Dream
National Book Trust (1976)
- Translated into English by Lila Majumdar.