Ketaki Kushari Dyson was born in Calcutta in 1940 and studied English literature at Calcutta and Oxford, obtaining firsts from both universities. She also holds a doctorate from Oxford. She settled in Britain after her marriage to an Englishman, but did not give up writing in her first language and her links with the literary life of her native Bengal. She writes in both Bengali and English and belongs to that small minority of poets who write poetry in two languages. Poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, translator, scholar, and critic, and well-known for her skill in mixing the genres, she is the author of more than thirty titles in her two languages and is regarded as an outstanding Bengali writer of her generation. She received the Bhubanmohini Dasi Medal of the University of Calcutta for eminent contribution to contemporary Bengali letters (1986), the Ananda Award twice (in 1986 and 1997), and in 2009 the Star Ananda Award for being the Best Bengali of the Year in Literature. She led an interdisciplinary research project on the effects of Tagore’s protanopic colour vision on his writings and visual art, leading to a major scholarly publication (Dyson, Adhikary et al, Ronger Rabindranath, Ananda, Calcutta, 1997).
Her English publications include two acclaimed scholarly books, A Various Universe: A Study of the Journals and Memoirs of British Men and Women in the Indian Subcontinent, 1765-1856 (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1978, second edition 2002, Oxford India Paperbacks, 2006), and In Your Blossoming Flower-Garden: Rabindranath Tagore and Victoria Ocampo (Sahitya Akademi, Delhi, 1988, reprinted 1996). She was for a period a Research Associate at Oxford’s Centre for Cross-Cultural Research on Women, for which she co-edited Bilingual Women: Anthropological Approaches to Second-Language Use (Berg, Oxford/Providence, 1994). Her translation I Won't Let You Go: Selected Poems by Rabindranath Tagore (Bloodaxe Books, 1991; second expanded edition, 2010) was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation.
Books by Ketaki Kushari Dyson