Dr. Rita Chowdhury (b. 1960) has joined as Director of the National Book Trust, India. She takes over from Dr M A Sikandar, following his repatriation to the University of Delhi on completion of his deputation.
Born at Nampong in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, Dr Rita Chowdhury holds master’s degree in Political Science as well as Asamiya, followed by LLB. She got her Ph.D. from Guwahati University. Before joining the Trust, she was an Associate Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, Cotton College, Guwahati.
A prominent Asamiya novelist, poet and activist, Dr Chowdhury’s oeuvre include Makam, a poignant portrayal of Assamese Indian community of Chinese origin; DeoLankhui, a novel of epic proportion on the glorious Tiwa Kingdom of Assam; and Ei XomoyXeiXomoy, a fictionalized account of the societal and political changes brought in by historic Assam Agitation against illegal immigration from Bangladesh to Assam.
Her other novels are AbirataYatra, Tirtha Bhumi, MahaJibanarAdharxila, PapiyaTarar Sadhu, RaagMalkosh, Jal Padma, HridoyNirupai, PapiNakshatrarGalpa, RazeebIshwar, Jahnabi and Mayabritta. Her 4 poetry collections viz. PratyaxarSwapna, SudoorNakshatra, AlapPohararAlapAandharar, and BagaMatirTulashi too have been well received.
Her first novel AbirataYatra (Incessant Journey) got her Asam Sahitya Sabha’s best manuscript award in 1981. Her Sahitya Akademi Award (2008) winning novel DeoLangkhui (The Divine Sword) got her a host of other awards including KalaguruBishnu Prasad Rabha Award. Makam (The Golden Horse) brought her national and international acclaim and this novel led to several critical discussions in national media on issues like Sino-India war, forced migration in Post Partition India etc.
Well known in the field of social activism, Dr Chowdhury has been quite active in giving voice to the voiceless. She is the Chief Trustee of ADHARXILA, an organization dedicated to empowering young writers of Assam. She has attended several national and international seminars and Panel Discussions on various issues of literature, society and international politics.