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Maitreyi Devi:

Maitreyi Devi

Maitreyi Devi (or Maitreyī Devī) (September 1, 1914 – January 29, 1989) was a Bengali-born Indian poet and novelist.

Life:

Devi was born in 1914, she was the daughter of philosopher Surendranath Dasgupta and protegée of poet Rabindranath Tagore. She was the founder of the Council for the Promotion of Communal Harmony in 1964, and vice-president of the All-India Women’s Coordinating Council. Her first book of verse appeared when she was sixteen, with a preface by Rabindranath Tagore. She wrote Rabindranath--the man behind his poetry. She was the basis for the main character in Romanian writer Mircea Eliade's 1933 novel Bengal Nights. In her Na Hanyate (English title, It Does Not Die: A Romance) novel, written as a response to Bengal Nights, Maitreyi Devi describes the romance and the cultural tensions resulted from it. Given the cultural constraints, she denies claims of a sexual affair between her and Eliade during the latter's sojourn in British India.

Education:

She graduated from the Jogamaya Devi College, an affiliated undergraduate women's college of the historic University of Calcutta, in Kolkata.

Awards:

She received Sahitya Akademi Award in the year 1976 for her novel Na Hanyate.

See Also:

  • Mircea Eliade--Maitreyi, Bucureşti, 1933
  • Maitreyi Devi--It Does Not Die. A Romance. Translated by Maitreyi Devi. University of Chicago Press, 1994
  • Mircea Eliade--Bengal Nights, University of Chicago Press, 1994
  • List of Sahitya Akademi Award winners for Bengali

References:

  • Firdaus Azim, The Journal of Asian Studies, Association for Asian Studies, Vol. 55, 1996, pp. 1035-103
  • A Terrible Hurt: The Untold Story behind the Publishing of Maitreyi Devi, by Ginu Kamani, accessed 30 January 2010