Brief note on Oriya Novels ( or Odia Novel)
Oriya Novel is also referred to as Odia Novel, Orisssa Novel or Odisha Novel.
Odia Novel is an important part of Odia Literary works.
Fakirmohan had a unique style of writing novels. ‘Kanakalata’ by Nandakishore Bal is a social novel. Amongst the later novelists were Mrutyunjay Rath, Tarini Charan Rath, Ramchandra Acharya and Kuntala Kumari Sabat. Baisnav Charan Das and Upendra Kishore Das broke away from the traditional run of novels and wrote ‘Mane Mane’ and ‘Malajahna’.
The next important novelist was Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, famous for his Matira Manisha (1934) dealing with problems of joint family system. During early part of the twentieth century, Godavasrish Mishra, Godabarish Mohapatra and Chakradhar Mohapatra were prominent novelists.
Harekrushna Mahatab, famous as a freedom fighter wrote many novels against the backdrop of Indian freedom movement (Prativa1946), (Abyapar 1947).
In the pre-independence period, nine authors jointly wrote a novel entitled Basanti (1924). During the forties of the last century, there was an efflorescence of Oriya Novel literature by the works of two novelists – Kanhu Charan Mohanty (1906-1994) and Gopinath Mohanty (1914-1991). Kanhu Charan was a prolific novelist and became very popular by ushering in a new trend in social realism. In 1935, he wrote ‘Ha Arna’ in the background of Orissa famine. His brother, Gopinath Mohanty, wrote novels drawing experience from different aspects of tribal and rural life. His Paraja and Amritsar Santan covered new ground.
Rajkishore Patnaik created a new wave with his novels. But the most path-breaking novel was ‘Amada Bat’ (1951) written by Basanta Kumari Patnaik.
Surendra Mohanty (1922-1996) was a prominent writer of historical and political novels like Neela Saila (1968), Satabdir Surya. Nityananda Mohapatra was a follower of Gandhian idealism and wrote Hidamathi (1948), Bhanga Hada. During fifties, some good novels were published by Laxmidhar Nayak and Chadramani Das. But Santanu Kumar Acharya was a distinct path breaker in post Oriya novels with his Narakinnar (1962) and Satabdir Nachiketa (1965).
During this period Gokulanda Mohapatra wrote a number of science fictions such as Prithivi Bahare Manisha, Udanta Thalia, and Sputnik. Chandra Sekhar Rath wrote novel with a spiritual undertone called Yantrudha (1966). Bibhuti Patnaik wrote good number of novels with love themes. Historical novels of Nrusingha Charan Panda about country’s history and culture are noteworthy.
Jagarinath Prasad Das made a new experiment in Oriya novel by his Desha Kala Patra’ (1992) with narration of social and cultural history of Orissa. Based on Puranic material, Prativa Ray wrote ‘Yagnaseni’. The author of this book has experimented with his two novelettes – ‘Tathapi be Mu Banchibaku Chahe’ and ‘Sekatha Bhuli Huena’ based on contemporary struggles in Oriya life. Most recent Oriya novels disclose a new socio-cultural ethos.