Bhubaneswar: Eminent fiction writer Dr. Pratibha Ray has been selected for the prestigious Jnanpith award- 2011, one of the most prestigious literary honours in the country, for her meritorious contributions to the field of Indian literature.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 7 lakh, a citation and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati.
Born on 21 January 1943, at Alabol, a remote village in the Balikuda area of Jagatsinghpur district, Ray through her first novel Barsha Basanta Baishakha (1974) proved herself to be the writer for masses.
The Padma Shri awardee's most acclaimed work Yajnaseni (1985) helped her win Bharatiya Jnanpith Trust’s Moorti Devi Award (1991). The novel which reconstructs the life of Draupadi, the enigmatic heroine of the Mahabharata, has since been translated into seven different languages.
The book also won the Sarala Award in 1990.
The other important works by Ray, also an academic include Mahamoh (1997), Shilapadma (1983) and Uttarmarg (1988). Ray’s Magnamaari (2003) is centred on the cyclone that ravaged Odisha in 1999.
Dr. Ray will be the fourth Odia writer to receive the coveted award after Gopinath Mohanty, Sachidananda Routray and Dr. Sitakant Mohapatra.