This book is about the life and writings of Qurratulain Hyder, one of the most influential Urdu novelists and short story writers, who was also an academic and a journalist. She is best known for her magnum opus, Aag Ka Darya (River of Fire), a novel first published in Urdu in 1959 from Lahore, Pakistan. This epic work stretches from the 4th century BC to after the partition of India. Popularly known as "Ainee Apa" among her friends and admirers, she was the daughter of the pioneering Urdu short story writer Sajjad Haidar Yildarim (1880â€“1943). Her mother, Nazar Zahra, who wrote at first as Bint-i-Nazrul Baqar and later as Nazar Sajjad Hyder (1894â€“1967), was also an author. Qurratulain Hyder received the 1967 Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu for Patjhar Ki Awaz (Short stories), the 1989 Jnanpith Award for Akhir-e-Shab Ke Humsafar, and the highest award of the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1994. She also received the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India in 2005.
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