Nabaneeta Dev Sen, a poet, novelist and academic honoured with the Padma Shri, died in Kolkata on Thursday evening, Anandabazar Patrika reported. Sen was 81 and was suffering from cancer.

Sen’s family members said her last rites will be performed on Saturday.

Sen won many awards, including the Padma Shri in 2000 and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1999 for her poetry and novels. For years, she worked on Ramakatha, in which she tried to explain the Ramayana from the point of view of Sita. Sen published more than 80 books in Bengali. Her first collection of poems Pratham Pratyay was published in 1959. One of her important works was Chandrabatir Ramayan.

Sen was born to poets Radharani Debi and Narendranath Deb in 1938 in Kolkata. She was a former wife of Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen and is the mother of actor Nandana Sen and journalist Antara Sen.

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