Qurrat-ul-Ain Haider (1927 – 2007) also known as Qurratulain Hyder, was an Indian Urdu writer and academic. Born in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, she began to write at age 11 and has published twelve novels and many other works. Often called the Grande Dame of Urdu Literature, Haider was educated at Lucknow University and after graduating moved to Pakistan and England before eventually settling back in India.
Haider’s best-known work is Aag Ka Duriya (River of Fire) – an epic novel which spans centuries from the fourth century BC to the post-Independence India and Pakistan. It was written from the point of view of Pakistanis and their struggles, especially towards the end of the novel. Later, the eminent Urdu novelist Paigham Afaqui pointed out that Hyder had not taken into account the viewpoint of the people who stayed in India, Haider made amendments to her English translation of the book. Her works include include: ‘Patjhar ki Awaz (The Voice of Autumn, 1965), Raushni ki Raftar (The Speed of Light), 1982 and the family chronicle Kar e Jahan Daraz Hai (The Work of the World Goes On).
Honoured extensively by the Indian government, included being named as Padma
Bhushan (the third highest honour in the Republic of India) Qurrat-ul-Ain Haider died at the age of 79 on August 21st 2007 after a long illness She is buried in the Jamia Millia Islamia cemetery, New Delhi.
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