Rita Chowdhury

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Rita Chowdhury
Rita Chowdhury in conversation with a journalist of the Telegraph Newspaper.jpg
Born (1960-08-17) 17 August 1960 (age 61)
Tirap, Arunachal Pradesh, India
OccupationNovelist, Poet, Director National Book Trust Of India
EducationM.A, LLB, Ph.D
Literary movementAssam Movement
Notable worksDeo Langkhui, Makam, The Divided Soul (Coffee Table Book), Mayabritta, Wars and Tears (documentary)
Notable awards1981: Axom Xahitya Xabha Award,
2006: Kolaguru Bishnuprasad Rabha Award,
2008: Sahitya Akademi Award
SpouseChandra Mohan Patowary

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Rita Chowdhury (born 17 August 1960) is an Indian poet, novelist and Sahitya Akademi Award recipient in the world of Assamese literature.[1][2] She has been an associate professor in Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam in Political Science Department since 2001. She is currently the Director of National Book Trust, India.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Chowdhury was born in 1960 to the writer Biraja Nanda Chowdhury and social worker Shri Molina Chowdhury, at Nampong in Tirap District of Arunachal Pradesh.[4] She did her schooling in Upper Haflong L.P. School and Higher Secondary in Margherita Public Higher Secondary School.[4] Her family moved to Guwahati in 1980, during the Assam Movement; she became involved in the movement and was jailed several times.[4]

She passed her B.A. in Political Science from Cotton College under Gauhati University in 1982. She is double MA in Political Science and Assamese from Gauhati University with LLB(1990) and Ph.D.. She did Ph.D. from Gauhati University on Comparative Literature in 2005. Her thesis was on Society and Women psychology depicted in Nirupama Borgohain and Ashapurna Devi's Novels: a Comparative Study.

Teaching career[edit]

Chowdhury has been an associate professor in Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam in Political Science Department since 2001 Prior to that, Chowdhury had worked as lecturer from 1991 to 1996 and as senior lecturer from 1996 to 2001 in the same college. She started her teaching career as lecturer in Political Science in Diphu Government College, Karbi Anglong from the year 1989 to 1991.[5]

Literary career[edit]

Chowdhury's first novel was Abirata Jatra (English: Incessant Journey) in 1981,[5] which won the first prize in a competition held by Asom Sahitya Sabha on the contemporary Assamese situation.

Chowdhury then wrote a series of novels, including Tirthabhumi (The Shrine) in 1988, Maha Jibanar Adharshila (Foundation Stone of Great Life) in 1993, Nayana Tarali Sujata in 1996, Popiya Torar Xadhu (Tale of a shooting star) in 1998, Rag-malkosh in 1999, Jala-Padma (Water-Lotus) in 1999, Hridoy Nirupai (The Helpless Heart) in 2003, Deo Langkhui (The Divine Sword) in 2005, Makam (The Golden Horse) in 2010 and Mayabritta (The Circle of Worldly Illusion) in 2012. Each of her novels is a depiction of some significant aspects of the society.

She received Sahitya Akademi Award in 2008 for the novel Deo Langkhui which was based on the Tiwas of Assam. Makam (মাকাম), a is translated into English with the title Chinatown Days,[6]

Chowdhury's fiction reflects the reality of life and the society. Sometimes it is contemporary and sometimes it is historical. There is a subterranean flow of feminism in some of her novels. Most of her novels are research-based.

She was the founder editor of Adharxila, a monthly literary magazine, published from Guwahati from 2001 to 2002.


  • Abirata Jatra (Incessant Journey) in 1981 published by Bani Mandir, Dibrugarh
  • Thirthabhumi (The Shrine) in 1988 published by Deepti Prakashan, Dibrugarh
  • Maha Jibanar Adharshila (Foundation Stone of Great Life) in 1993 published by Jyoti Prakashan, Dibrugarh
  • Nayana Tarali Sujata in (1996), published by Lawyer's Book Stall, Guwahati
  • Popiya Torar Sadhu (Tale of a Meteor) in 1998 published by Cambridge India, Guwahati[7]
  • Ragmalkosh in (1999), published by Assam Book Depot, Guwahati
  • Jala Padma (Water-Lotus) in 1999 published by Assam Book Depot, Guwahati
  • Hridoy Nirupai (The Helpless Heart) in 2003 published by Jyoti Prakashan, Guwahati
  • Deo Langkhui (The Divine Sword) in 2005 published by Jyoti Prakashan, Guwahati
  • Ai xomoy Xei Xomoy
  • Makam (The Golden Horse) in 2010 published by Jyoti Prakashan, Guwahati
  • Mayabritta (The circle of Worldly Illusion) in 2012 published by Jyoti Prakashan, Guwahati
  • Makam (English) in 2015 published by The Pangea House, New Delhi.
  • Bibranta Bastab in 2015 published by The Jyoti Prakashan, Guwahati.
  • Chinatown days' 'in 2018 published by Pan Macmillan, New Delhi.


  • Xudoor Nakshatra (The Far-off Star) in 1989, published by Sofia Publishers, Guwahati
  • Banariya Batahar Xuhuri (Whistle of the Wild Wind) in 1996
  • Alop Pooharar Alop Andharar (Streaks of Light and Darkness) in 1997 published by Lawyer's Book Stall, Guwahati
  • Boga Matir Tulaxi (Black Basil on White Soil) in 1999 published by Lawyer's Book Stall, Guwahati

Recent releases[edit]

  • Rajeeb Eeshwar
  • Jahnavi

English works[edit]

  • The Divided Soul (Coffee Table Book) in 2015 published by The Pangea House [1]

Production works[edit]

  • Wars and Tears (Documentary, Director, Script Writer) produced by The Pangea House [2]


Chowdhury has been awarded with a number of literary awards and recognitions. Among those, the major awards are as follows:

  • Assam Sahitya Sabha Award (First Prize awarded in the Manuscript Competition of Novel) in 1981 for the Novel, Abirata Yatra.[8]
  • Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha Award by Assam Sahitya Sabha, new Delhi in 2006 for the novel Deo Langkhui.[5]
  • Sahitya Akademi Award, 2008, for the novel Deo Langkhui.[1][2][9][10]
  • Lekhika Samoroh Xahitya Bata in 2011 by Sadou Axom lekhika Samoroh Samittee.[5]
  • G.A. Kulkarni Award for Translation of the novel, Makam in Marathi Language in 2013 by Goa Hindu association, Mumbai.[5]
  • Certificate of merit Award in 2011 by IDPA, Mumbai for the Documentary, ‘The Divided Soul’.[5]
  • Award for Excellence in Best Editing for ‘The Divided Soul’ (Docu) produced by Chowdhury in Mumbai International Film festival in 2011.[5]

Special felicitation[edit]

  • Felicitated by the Indian Overseas Chinese Organization on 23 May 2010.

Posts held[edit]

  • Visitor's (President of India) nominee to the Court, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal.
  • Visitor's (President of India) nominee to the Court, Axom University, Silchar, Assam.
  • Member, State Commission for Women, Assam.
  • Member, Asomiya Advisory Panel, National Book Trust.
  • Chief trustee, 'Adharxila'(Honorary)


  • The Chinese Diaspora and 1962 Sino-Indian War.
  • Tea History of Assam.
  • Tea Community of Assam.
  • Tiwa Tribe of Assam.
  • The Assamese Chinese Community.
  • Forced Migration in Post Partition India.

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Chandra Mohan Patowary.[4] She has a son and a daughter.


  1. ^ a b Bhattacharjee, Subhamoy (26 January 2009). "Royal allowance to community kings of Assam". Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Literary feats lauded". The Assam Tribune. 29 December 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Chowdhury new NBT Director". 16 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "The heart yearns for days of yore". The Telegraph India. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Chowdhury, Narzary given Akademi award". The Assam Tribune. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  6. ^ "Chinatown Days by Rita Chowdhury: Tales from a lost town". Purple Pencil Project. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  7. ^ "The Assam Tribune Online". www.assamtribune.com. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Meet Dr Rita Chowdhury – Assamese Author and Director of National Book Trust of India". G Plus. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  9. ^ Editor, Assam Times (23 December 2008). "Sahitya Academy award to 2 Assamese litterateurs". Retrieved 2 August 2009.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Sahitya Adademi Awards for Choudhury, Narzary". 23 December 2008. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2009.

External links[edit]