Nirad C. Chaudhuri
Award Name : Sahitya Akademi Award
Year of Award : 1975
Award for : Literature
Location : Kishorganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Nirad C. Chaudhuri was a Bengali-English writer, best known for the book ‘The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian’. It’s a biographical work which includes his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline. He is the only Indian ever awarded the prestigious Duff Cooper memorial Award, for The Continent of Circe published in 1966. He was one of the most leading Indian fictional writers of the 20th century. His biography on Max Muller earned him a Sahitya Academy Award. He was born in 1897 in Kishoreganj, then part of Bengal in British India, now a part of Bangladesh after partition. He authored numerous works in English and Bengali. In 1990, Oxford University awarded Chaudhuri a resident at Oxford, an honour to his literary contributions. He spent his last days in Oxford and lived a long life of 101 years. He was born on 23 November 1897 in Kishoreganj, Mymensingh, British India. He was a classmate of famous writer, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay while studying at Ripon College. Later he studied at Ripon College and University of Calcutta, where he topped in merit list. He graduated with honours in History. Though he enrolled for MA at Calcutta University, he could not complete it and took a clerical job at Accounting Department of the Indian Army. Since then he was active in writing, contributing articles to magazines.
Later he started a new career as a journalist and editor. Modern Review, Prabasi and Sonibarer Chithi are the magazines where he worked as an editor. He lived with writers Bibhuti Bhushan Banerjee and Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder at Mirzapur Street near College Square, Kolkata during this period. While accepting the secretary post of Sarat Chandra Bose in 1938, he came to contact with nationalist leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose etc. He was appointed as a political commentator on All India Radio, Kolkata. He was active in writing till 99 years old.