Qurratulain Hyder (1926-2007) is widely regarded as the grande dame of Urdu literature. To her fans and admirers she is popularly known as "Ainee Apa." The Prime Minister of India said at her funeral, "With her unfortunate passing, the country has lost a towering literary figure."
Qurratulain Hyder has a place alongside her exact contemporaries,
Milan Kundera and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as one of the world's
major living authors.
A wonderful writer. She pairs enormous erudition with a careful eye to detail. Hers is one of the most important Indian voices of the 20th century.--Amitav Ghosh
In confidently writing about India's Buddhist and Hindu past, Hyder, a Muslim by birth, also provides an example of the secular literary culture of the subcontinent that has largely remained untainted by sectarian tensions.