hubaneswar: Astaraga a translation from Assamese into Odia had brought in the Odisha Sahitya Akademi award for her in 2007.
This time for ‘Ashirbadara Ranga’ an Odia translation by Monalisa Jena of Arun Sharma’s Assamese book has been nominated for the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award 2016.
“It’s an honour to have been selected for the Central Sahitya Akademi award. I shall continue translating books in future” said Monalisa
Many Odia to English and English to Odia translations are to the credit of Monalisa. Born on 10 December , 1963 to a humble family in Khurda Monalisa completed her MBA from IGNOU after graduating in Economics from Ravenshaw College.
Mona Lisa Jena is a writer who touches lives – nay, she touches the soul!
It is this quality that has endeared her to her fans and readers. A renowned bilingual writer of poetry, fiction, travelogues and biographies, she is also an award winning translator and a journalist.
As a writer, she nurtures romantic love and human relationships, weaving bitter-sweet moments with the ecstasy of sublime love – magical in all its fragility. In her writings, particularly in her poetry, she skillfully uses the first person and deftly handles varied moods and emotions displaying a profound sense of belonging to a world that is simultaneously intimate and distant. She is the author of many books in various genres, including two collections of short stories, three books of poems and several volumes of translations.
Mona Lisa Jena has won several awards and accolades through her distinguished career. In 2011, she received The Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation ( for the year 2007), for her novel, Astoraga, based on the story of an Alzheimer-afflicted old man, originally written in Assamese by Homen Boroghain.
Nisagra Dhwani, Ai Sabu Dhruba Muhurta and Nakshtra Devi are the titles of her three collections of poems in Odiya; all of them have been highly appreciated by readers and critics.
Her stories are woven where her poetry stops to breathe. They deal with complex emotional human behavior in a growing urban setting in a fascinating and subtle way. Indramalatira Shoka and Nilamadhabi are two of her compilations of Odia short stories. Nargis is her latest work, a romantic novel, published by Kahani Publication in 2016.
Ramakanth Rath, her literary biography of poet Ramakanta Rath was published in 2009 and has already gone into a third edition.
She has also written and published a monograph, Artist of a mute world, based on the life and work of the famous Odiya artist Bipin Bihari Choudhury, who dedicated his life to better the world of the neglected deaf and mute children of Odisha.
As a translator, she has to her credit nine books translated from Assamese to Odia. Among them are Kavita, an award winning collection of the works of the Assamese poet Nilomoni Phukan; Luitara Swara , a collection of three Assamese poets , Nilomoni Phukan, Harekrishna Deka and Hiren Bhattacharya; Megan Kachari’s poems; three Assamese novels Astoraga , Pakshi Charigale dhana and Ashirvadar Ranga . Her two short story collections from Assamese are Jibana Juktira Bahare and Assamara Shrestha Galpa. The National Book Trust of India has published her Bejbaruanka Nirbachita Rachana in 2010.
In 2013, Harper Collins published her English translation of contemporary Odia short stories, Dasuram’s Script. She has translated two other books from Odia to English; Oranges from Nagpur and Citadel of Love,(originally written in Odia by Pratibha Ray). published by Rupa & Co.in 2015
As a journalist, she has authored a book, Women Journalists of the World, which was published in 2006 by Pointer Publications in Rajasthan. She has also contributed many articles in English, related to tourism and environmental issues, which have appeared regularly in several newspapers and magazines like The Telegraph, Hindustan Times, Pioneer, Asian Age, Rajasthan Patrika, Times of India, Femina, Women’s Era and the in-flight magazines of airlines.
Mona Lisa Jena is a post graduate in Economics from Ravenshaw University and she also did her MBA. Her scholastic achievement fetched her a Senior Fellowship from the Department of Culture, India.
She was born in 1964 and lives in Mukund Prasad, Khurda, Odisha – 752057 .