She began her career as a novelist with the publication of Janmabhoomi Matribhoomi. A prolific writer, her novels have been regularly published in Desh, the premier literary journal of Bengal. Her major works include Swet Patharer Thaala (The Marble Salver), Ekushe Paa (twenty One Steps), Maitreya Jataka (published as The Birth of the Maitreya by Stree), Gandharvi, Pancham Purush (The Fifth Man, or Fifth Generation?) and Ashtam Garbha (The Eighth Pregnancy). She was awarded the Tarashankar Award for Antarghaat (Treason), and the Ananda Purashkar for Maitreya Jataka. She is also the recipient of the Sushila Devi Birla Award and the Sahitya Setu Puraskar. She translates extensively into Bangla and writes essays, short stories and poetry.
Bani Basu has been conferred upon Sahitya Academy Award 2010, one of India's highest literary awards, for her contribution to Bengali literature. The Awards ceremony was held on 15 February 2011 at New Delhi.