Born on 14 August 1939 in Dahanu, Maharashtra, Shrimati Shanta Gokhale is a prolific writer. After her schooling from Bombay Scottish Orphanage Society’s High School and St Paul’s Girls’ School, she obtained her graduation degree from the University of Bristol. She completed her M.A. in English from Bombay University. A former editor of The Times of India, Mumbai edition, she has been a member of the board of trustees of the India Foundation for the Arts between 1995 and 2005. She has also been a lecturer in English in Elphinstone College (for two years) and HR College of Commerce.
Shrimati Shanta Gokhale has not only written columns for leading English and Marathi newspapers and magazines, but has written plays, books on theatre, and has translated many works, and during her two-year stint with Elphinstone College, Mumbai as a lecturer, she became involved with the experimental theatre in Mumbai (then Bombay) and began to write theatre criticism, first for an English journal and later for a Marathi weekly. Her earliest notable translation works include CT Khanolkar’s Avadhya; Vijay Tendulkar’s Sakharam Binder; and Mahesh Elkunchwar’s Vasanakand. Her recent translations include, besides several plays, Durga Khote’s autobiography, Mi Durga Khote; Prabhakar Barve’s collection of essays on his art practice, Kora Canvas; Uddhav Shelke’s classic novel, Dhag; and Vishnubhat Godse’s eye-witness account of the 1857 uprising Majha Pravas, this in collaboration with Priya Adarakar. Her books Playwright at the Centre: Marathi Drama From 1843 to the Present; Satyadev Dubey: A Fifty-year Journey Through Theatre; The Theatre of Veenapani Chawla: Theory, Practice, Performance; and The Scenes We Made: An Oral History of Experimental Theatre in Bombay are considered important contributions to theatre.
For her contribution to the performing arts, she has received several honours. She received the Kaifi Azmi award for her writing on culture. Recently, she has been declared the recipient of the Jambhekar award instituted by the Antar Bharati Trust for her Marathi translation of Jerry Pinto’s multi-award-winning novel, Em and the Big Hoom.
Shrimati Shanta Gokhale receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her overall contribution to the performing arts.