Pratibha Ray is an Indian academic and writer. She was born on 21 January 1943, at Alabol, a remote village in the Balikuda area of Jagatsinghpur District formerly part of Cuttack district of Orissa state. She was the first woman to win the Moortidevi Award in 1991.
She is an eminent fiction writer in contemporary India. She writes novels and short stories in her mother tongue Oriya. Her first novel Barsha Basanta Baishakha (1974) proved itself as a best seller for its readability among rural female half literate readers. She attributed the boldness, the revolt and humanism in her literature, to the impact ofVaisnaism, her family religion, which preaches no caste, no class, and also due to the influence of her Gandhian teacher-father, Parashuram Das.
Her search for a "social order based on equality, love, peace and integration", continues, since she first penned at the age of nine. When she wrote for a social order, based on equality without class, caste, religion or sex discriminations, some of her critics branded her as a communist, and some as feminist. But she says "I am a humanist. Men and women have been created differently for the healthy functioning of society. The specialities women have been endowed with should be nurtured further. As a human being however, woman is equal to man".
She continued her writing career even after her marriage and raising a family of three children, for which she credits her parents and her husband. She completed her Masters in Education, and PhD in Educational Psychology while raising her children. Her post-doctoral research was on 'Tribalism and Criminology of Bondo Highlander', one of the most primitive tribes of Orissa, India.