Pratibha Ray, a leading Oriya novelist with over 40 novels, travelogues and short stories to her credit, has been chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2011.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 7 lakh, a citation and a public felicitation. Ray will be the 47th author to be decorated with the top literary honour. She is a household name in Orissa, having made a remarkable journey from her obscure village to the hearts of her readers. A professor by profession and a writer by choice, Ray is a leading fiction writer and has been involved in active research. "Born in 1943, Pratibha Ray is one of the most widely read Oriya novelists and short story writers. Her novels and stories are deeply and persuasively grounded in the great tradition of story-telling," the Bharatiya Jnanpith said in a release.
Her writings have been translated into English, other foreign languages and many other Indian languages. Her role-model was her father late Parashuram Das who gave up a lucrative job in TISCO and joined as the first Head Master of Balikuda High School to educate the people to make them realise the significance of the freedom struggle.