Maitreyi Devi

Maitreyi Devi

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Category: Literature

Maitreyi Devi Profile

  • Name:
  • Maitreyi Devi
  • Born:
  • September 1, 1914
  • Died:
  • January 29, 1989
  • Father:
  • Surendranath Dasgupta
  • Mother:
  • Himani Madhuri Rai

Maitreyi Devi Biography

Maitreyi Devi was a noted poet and novelist from Bengal. She was the daughter of famous Sanskrit scholar and philosopher, Surendranath Dasgupta. Her mother Himani Madhuri Rai is the sister of Himanshu Rai, the founder of Bombay talkies. She was a protégée of poet Rabindranath Tagore. Among her 5 siblings, Chitrita Devi and Subhayu Dasgupta too were noted writers. Her brother Sugata Dasgupta was a famous speaker. Maitreyi was the founder of the Council for the Promotion of Communal Harmony in 1964. Mircea Eliade's 1933 novel Bengal Nights portrayed Maitreyi Devi as the lead character. ‘Na Hanyate’ is her novel written as a response to Bengal Nights. The novel which received Sahitya Akademi Award in the year 1976 is regarded as her celebrated work too.


She was born in Bengal on September 1, 1914 as the daughter of eminent scholar, Surendranath Dasgupta. Maitreyi Devi was a poet and lecturer. She also served as the vice-president of the All-India Women's Coordinating Council. Her first book was published at the age of 16 and its preface was written by none other than Rabindranath Tagore who was a great inspiration and guide to Maitreyi.


She was portrayed as the central character of ‘Bengal Nights’, the novel written by Romanian writer, Mircea Eliade. Through this book Eliade claimed sexual affair between them. But Maitreyi Devi denied this claim through her best known work - Na Hanyate, a novel written as a response to Bengal Nights. She has published numerous books on travel, philosophy, and social reform. She also published 4 volumes of poetry and 8 works on Tagore. She passed away in 1989 at the age of 76.

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Updated: June 16, 2014

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