Ushakiran Khan has lately written unique novels based on historical research. There has been a tradition of writing on historical characters.That tradition of writing historical masterpieces was getting lost somewhere. If there is any chance of portraying the eradication of social evils and religious tolerance, that can only be done by revisiting history. And that can be produced simplistically in modern writing has been exemplified by Dr. Ushakiran Khan through her award winning novels Bhamati, Sirjanhaar, Hasina Manzil and Agan Hindola. Her two plays, ‘ Kahan Gaye Mere Ugna’ and ‘ Hira Dom’ are true portrayals of present times and marginalized sections of society. Having lived in the ferocious “Koshi” river belt, amongst the “dalit” people, Ushakiran Khan has always fulfilled her social responsibility through her writings.WIKI
Dr. Khan's first memorable experience of getting published was during her college days in the prestigious literary magazine KAHANI. Later she was published in respected magazines like Dharmyug, Saptahik Hindustan, Sarika, Hans and many others.Her earliest Short Story Collections in Hindi are 'Vivash Vikramadiya', 'Doob Dhaan', 'Geeli Paank', ' Kaas Van', 'Jaldhaar', 'Janam Awadhi' and 'Ghar Se Ghar Tak'. A few of her stories made their way into school and university textbooks, while others were rendered into plays or tele-films. For a long time her popularity rested on her short stories.
Her Hindi novel 'Seemant Katha' is a spine-chilling account of the lawless border that Bihar shares with UP. While she etches the harsh hyper-masculinity of brutality of rural politics, she weaves in soft nuances of an area hankering after the softer aspects of life. 'Pani Par Lakeer' and 'Trijya' grapple with the eternal questions of womanhood and femininity.
'Ratnare Nayan' is another novel which deserves special mention. It is probably the only political novel written in our times with a city as a protagonist. While most of her writing is set in rural Bihar, this work deals with the city of Patna which is the hero of her novel with a multilayered narrative as composite as the by-lanes of old Patna City. This novel scores both in form and matter as one of the path-breaking pieces in Hindi prose.
'Sirjanhar', her latest offering published by the prestigious Bharatiya Jnanpeeth, is a biopic of the medieval poet Vidyapati whom Mithila and Bengal (and sometimes Odisha) claim as their own. Through the long life of the multilingual bard, she brings alive and recreates a period of upheavals in Indian history. With a historian's erudite analysis, Dr. Usha Kiran Khan transports the reader to an era of wars jostling with creative pursuits, religion vying with romance, social mores reinventing ethical values. With her mastery over words, she weaves a narrative which enthralls and fascinates while informing, creates new phrases while describing old truths. In this novel she has crafted an all-time classic.
Her Maithili novel 'Haseena Manzil', shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademi award thrice, unfolds a period in contemporary history where the Muslims of Mithila who went to East Pakistan find themselves in a nowhere space. The novel has been translated into Hindi, English, Urdu and Bangla and is in the pipeline in many other languages. It has been rendered by Doordarshan as a Hindi series under the Indian Classics programme.
'Bhamati: Ek Avismaraniya Premkatha', her latest Maithili novel won her the coveted Sahitya Akademi Award in 2011. It is a complex rendering of the social, cultural and philosophical milieu of 10th century Mithila which breaks many icons and raises contemporary questions such as gender roles and communal intolerance through a profound and classically woven narrative.
Her prolific writing of Maithili short stories are collected in 'Kaanchahi Baans'.