Qurratulain Hyder was an influential Indian Urdu novelist and short story writer, an academic, and a journalist. One of the most outstanding literary names in Urdu literature, she is most known for her magnum opus, Aag Ka Darya (River of Fire), a novel first published in Urdu in 1959, from Lahore, Pakistan, that stretches from the 4th century BC to post partition of India. Popularly known as "Ainee Apa".
Born on January 20, 1926 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh Qurrat-ul-Ain Hyder is one of the most celebrated of Urdu fiction writers. She was named after a notable Iranian poet Qurrat-ul-Ain Tahira. Qurratul Ain, translated literally means 'solace of the eyes' and is used as a term of endearment. A trend setter in Urdu fiction, she began writing at a time when the novel was yet to take deep roots as a serious genre in the poetry-oriented world of Urdu literature. She instilled in it a new sensibility and brought into its fold strands of thought and imagination hitherto unexplored. She is widely regarded as the "Grande Dame" of Urdu literature.
She migrated along with her family members to Pakistan in 1947 at the time of independence, but some years later decided to go back to India, where she had since lived. She worked as a journalist to earn her living but kept publishing short stories, literary translations and novels regularly, by now almost thirty in number.She was Managing Editor of the magazine Imprint, Bombay (1964–68), and a member of the editorial staff of the Illustrated Weekly of India (1968–75). Her books have been translated into English and other languages.
Kar e Jahan Daraz Hai (The Work of the World Goes On)