ORIYA NARI - a forum for Odia women




By Shanti Samal
Published by Cuttack Students Store, Cuttack
This is a suitable book in the hands of the readers who are in search of the recipe of holistic Odia food. All the recipes in the book avoid use of onion and garlic, as is the practice in temples and maths of Odisha. The food items chosen to be covered find common appearance on the dining table of traditional Odia homes. So this book serves as one that could be frequently browsed through in the kitchen, instead of placing it as a decorative possession in the bookshelf. It could be of immense use specially in the vegetarian households.       


By Prasanna Kumari Devi
Published by Agraduta, Cuttack
This book serves as a reliable reference manual for traditional cuisine of Orissa in Oriya language. The author has made sincere endeavours to cover recipe of as many oriya foods as possible. For example in the chapter on 'Saaga' (leafy vegetables) recipe of 22 types of saaga including  Kakharu saaga, sajana saaga and kalara patra are presented. The foreword: 'Our  Food Culture' contributed by the eminent author Mahapatra Nilamani Sahoo is an added attraction of the book.


By SwarnaPrabha Ray
Published by Naba Diganta,
Binod Bihari, Cuttack
It contains several household tips that a housewife would find immensely useful. It covers topics such as 'Tips Relating to Food Items' (How to preserve a cracked egg, for example) 'How to mend an error?' (If you add excess salt to the curry, for example) "Protection of Domestic Items" (The rubber lining of a presure cooker, for example) so on and so forth. A quite handy book in its category available in Oriya language.


By Bijaya Laxmi Patnaik
Published by Press communication of India, Bhubaneswar
This is another book of the kind mentioned above which has gained popularity among women. Besides the usual household tips, it also includes a 'Medicines in Your Kitchen' section and highlights the usefulness of several common items available in every household in treatment of common ailments. The information and tips available in the book would be useful to women in their daily chores.


By Dr. Yogamaya Patnaik
Published by Friends Publishers
Cuttack -2
Wriitten by the renowned lady physician of Orissa, Dr. Yogamaya Patnaik, it is a systematic presentation of advice on several physical (and even mental) ailments we might be having. 'How to Reduce Weight' is an interesting chapter in the book where the author suggests that we should keep our friends and relatives informed about what kind of food doesn't suit our health, so that we won't ever be compelled to eat those items out of courtesy.


By Anita Pradhan
Published by MINTECH Publications, Bhubaneswar
This publication fulfils a long-felt need for a book on the great leader who has been at the helm, shaping the fate of Orissa for more than a decade now. The writer has made laudable attmpts to introduce to the readers a fine human being lying behind the politician. In the chapter 'Naveen Patnaik - the Writer' one finds a glimpse of some of the outstanding books authored by Mr. Patnaik before he entered politics. The little known fact that Mr. Patnaik is also an accomplished scholar  in medicinal herbs  is aptly highlighted in the book.     


By Dr. Shreeram Chandra Dash
Published by Publications Division, Govt. of India
New Delhi
The book in English covers various topics ralating to the state of Orissa. One could acquaint oneself with the historical background of the state, its geography, art, culture, various tribes, literature, and industries, among others. A chapter on the places of tourist interest also gives a brief overview of the places that a visitor to the state would love to visit.


By Santi Lata Kantha
Published by Sadgrantha Niketan, Puri
This book may prove to be handy guide to the visitors to the Jagannath Temple in Puri. It briefly introduces all temples and important places within the grand temple complex which no curious visitor would like to miss. The writer also covers the typical  rituals and festivals of the temple that are celebrated throughout the year. A few other places of tourist interest within the city of Puri are also explained.  


By Bijoylaxmi Hota & Kabita Pattanayak
Published by Rupa & Co, New Delhi
This recipe book seeks to present the Orissan style of cooking in a crisp manner.  A laudable attempt has been made by the authors to capture the essence of Oriya cuisine and show how it contributes positively to one's holistic health as well. A few non-Oriya recipes also appear to have crept into the book in the process of covering assorted foods of Orissa. We suggest that the authors should think of modifying the lay out of the book in subsequent editions.  

By Laxmi Parida
Published by iUniverse
Lincoln, USA 
Here we have an authentic cook book covering almost all aspects of Oriya cuisine. The author has presented the culinary art of Orissa with such a cordial approach that her narrative with a personal touch makes the recipes quite enjoyable to go through. One can sense a thorough research on Oriya kitchen as one browses through the book. The only thing we wonder is why the author excluded the word 'Orissa' or 'Oriya' from the title of the book.


By Rajan Panda
Published by Readwell Publications
New Delhi
We mention this book here in response to queries being made by some of the visitors of this site about availability of a suitable book for learning Oriya language which could be of use to the non-Oriya people. This book may prove to be a supportive tool to those who wish to get acquainted with the basics of the language. However the author has approached the task throgh theoretical grammar, which may pose a little difficulty to serious learners of the language.   


By Shyamsunder Agrawalla
Published by Spectrum
The book marks a successful approach by the author to present snippets of our day-to-day life with a touch of wit. He analyses in a pleasant manner the underlying truth behind various aspects of our behaviour and attitude in life. Although the writer is new to the world of Oriya writing (which doesn't  however mean that he is a young writer) the grasp and confidence with which he has presented his subject in simple prose makes it a compulsive reading. The high quality of printing and production ensured by the publishers is also note worthy. The success of the book can be gauged from that within only five months of its first edition the publishers are now in the process of bringing out its second edition. A  rare feat, we should say, considering how difficult it is these days to find readership for Oriya books.  To sum up, if you haven't read it so far, you are missing something.








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We have been receiving requests from some of the visitors of this site to send them copies of the books which are covered here. But we regret that we are not in a position to supply any of these. Our motive here is to introduce some good and interesting books with brief reviews of the same. The visitors who wish to get copies of any of these books are requested to enquire with the leading book sellers in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar or contact the publishers directly. Some of the books are, also, available online at amazon.com.

The publishers who wish to submit their books for review, may send email to us at:  oriyanari@yahoo.co.in  .


By Susmita Bagchi


Published by Sucharita Publications, Bhubaneswar







This novel marks an inimitable exploration into the world of psychiatry. The arduous task of incorporating the subtle nuances of psychiatry within the limitations of the format of fiction has been effectively handled by the author. The novel is born out of a long nourished empathy with the victims of psychiatric ailments, the novelist tells us in her foreword.


Dr. Aditya, the central character in the novel, epitomizes the ambition to bring about a rational approach to his profession as a psychiatrist with a touch of compassion. The theme develops with an appropriate interweaving of supportive sub-plots. The narrative relies heavily on dialogues between characters to develop the story line, and this is what makes the book a pleasant reading. The success of the approach lies in communicating an otherwise insipid theme through a lively presentation of various layers relationship in the personal life of Dr. Aditya.        


Susmita Bagchi is a well known name in Odia literature and this being her sixth contribution to the panorama of Odia novels serves to strengthen the genre of Odia fiction. It is relieving that in this era of diminishing popularity of novels, the author continues to remain committed to the form.      



By Geeta Hota


Published by Orissa Writers Co-op. Society Ltd., Bhubaneswar







This engaging autobiography by one of Orissa’s leading woman authors and editor of the eminent literary journal Amrutayan,  covers the journey of a school girl to the inspiring heights of ideal womanhood. The book initiates a passionate discourse on tradition and modernity. It takes recourse to three key objectives: (1) re-invention of our rich tradition; (2) locating the conspicuous chasm between the past heritage and the contemporary milieu; (3) reviving the constructive potential of tradition for reconstructing a prosperous modern life.

The author vividly documents her memory concerning the journey of Oriya as a language, identity and tradition. True to the spirit of a critical observer, she opines that a shift has occurred in our priority, taste, values and individuality. The sacrificing/ altruistic zeal of the architects of modern Orissa is missing in the youth of recent times.


Written with patriotic verve and sheer truthfulness, the book is indicative of the writer's sensitive zeal to illustrate the grandeur of Orissan values. The contents of the book are absolutely grounded (event-based, experience-based) and the piece emerges out of her real life engagements with diverse realms of society: language, region, art, education and politics that make the reading a relishing experience.


By Pratibha Ray

Published by Adya Prakashani, Tulasipur, Cuttack-753008






Jagyaseni is a masterpiece that has endeared it self to Oriya readers, especially the women among them. This rendering of a well-known piece of epic in a fictional structure has uniqueness of its own. 

To put it straight, this is the story of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas narrated by her in the first person. However it is not as simple as that. One re-discovers the character of Draupadi in the rendering of the glimpses of her life. As one browses through the book, page after page newer and newer facets of the life and dilemmas of Draupadi begin to unfold. 

It is a fine presentation of the woman within the Draupadi as she faces the various predicaments in her relationship with Yudihsthira, Arjuna, Krishna and other protagonists of the Mahabharata. We could rather call it the presentation of the character of Draupadi with a feminist undertone. A woman reader would easily identify the inner realities of her own existence in the writer’s portrayal of Draupadi. 

This much-acclaimed book is credited with the prestigious Bharatiya Jnanapith - Murti Devi Award. It has been widely translated into many Indian languages, besides English.


By Susmita Bandopadhyay

Translated into Oriya by Binapani Mahapatra

Published by Kahani, Kalyani Nagar, Cuttack  


It is the best autobiographical novel one could read in recent times. The protagonist of the book is an Indian woman who went to Afghanistan and fell in love with an Afghani guy over there. They eventually got married. This is what has really happened in the personal life of the writer, Susmita Bandopadhyay. What happened next? This is what constitutes the captivating phase of the book. 

Set in the modern-day reality, the book delves deep into the dilemmas of a woman caught in the vortex of inter-cultural and inter-social relationship.  

Though presented as a fiction, one observes here a thinning down of the line between autobiography and fiction. It is a handy relief to those who complain that today’s fiction is getting detached from reality. 

Originally written in Bengali, this book has been translated into oriya by Binapani Mahapatra in such a manner that here translation gives way to transcreation. This is one of the reasons why the book promises a captivating reading.

FLASH NEWS! Sushmita Banndopadhyay is no more. She was brutally executed by the Taliban militants of Afghanistan on 5th September 2013. The militants barged into her home in Afghanistan, tied up her husband and other family members. Then they dragged her out and shot her. 


By Sarojini Sahoo

Published by Time Pass, Bhubaneswar





Gambhiri Ghara is one of the much acclaimed novels of Sarojini Sahoo. It was first published in a magazine in 2005. The next year it appeared in the book form and was an instant success. It's Bengali translation has also gained immese popularity among the Bengali readers.


The novel deals with the process of evolution of infatuation into love. It begins with questioning the mere physicality of a man-woman relationship and transports the reader into the higher planes of platonic love.

Kuki, the central character of the novel, is a Hindu woman from India who falls (and then rises) in love with a Muslim artist of Pakistan. The unusualness of the socio-cultural background of these two characters is portrayed in a sensitive and convincing manner to reach a conclusion that such barriers of background may never bar the free flow of love between two hearts.

One comes across two sets of roles that Kuki plays in life - one that of a lover, and  the other, a wife. She subtly balances these two attributes of her character while at the same time higlighting the superiority of a wife in pragmatic world.

When we talk of cross-border protagonists may terrorism remain far behind? Yes, the writer aptly brings this into question as an analytical treatment of the factors behind terrorism is inter-woven into the main theme.

The novel is as powerful as any of Sarojini Sahoo’s popular short stories. Like in her all other masterpieces, here also she does not betray the distinction of her being the leading feminist writer of Orissa.  





By Sanjukta Mohanty

Published by M/s Jagannath Ratha Publishers & Book Sellers, Cuttack








The novel seeks to explore an in-depth understanding of women’s reality: their sorrow and subjugation, sensitivity and sensibility. Being a woman, the novelist is starkly alive and sensitive to the plight of single women in the society.


In patriarchy where marriage and motherhood are eulogized as cultural ideals for women in general, staying single is a harrowing experience for every Indian woman. Delving deeper into the issue the writer analyses the vulnerable existence of a single woman – an existence which is replete with a series of trials and tribulations. Keeping this theme in the background, the novel blends two dimensions: women’s emotion, passion, love and aspiration on one hand, the complex patriarchal milieu on the other.


Although the novel has a spectacular beginning, the author could have maintained its depth, coherence and strength till the concluding point. It appears that the sequence of the plot could not be sustained till denouement.


However, this is a meaningful story with a strong feminist message which no serious reader of Oriya fiction would like to miss.  We look forward to many more of outstanding contributions to the world of fiction by this prolific writer who has already authored eighteen books.