Punyakante Wijenaike, one of Sri Lanka’s best-known English writers, was born in Colombo in 1933. Her writing is recognized for its simple yet powerful style, which holds the reader’s attention. She published her first collection of short stories, The Third Woman, in 1963. Since then, she has published six novels and four collections of short stories, with more than 100 stories published in newspapers, journals and anthologies locally and internationally as well as broadcast in Sri Lanka and on BBC.
Although she has spent most of her life in Colombo, she initially used rural villages as her theme, only later turning to urban themes. Her writings highlight, “the tyranny of a community or a group towards its weaker members.” Her 1998 novel, An Enemy Within, uncovers “the masks that tend to hide the reality of present times.”
Her novel Giraya was adapted into a teledrama. She was awarded the Woman of Achievement Award in 1985. The rank of‘Kalasuri Class 1’ (literary achievement) was conferred on her by the Government of Sri Lanka in 1988. In 1994 she won the Gratiaen Award for her novel Amulet and in 1996, the Commonwealth Short Story Competition for Radio along with a joint winner from Sierra Leone.
The Library of Congress has ten works by her