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.