Renowned Urdu writer and Jnanpith winner Qurratulain Haider passed away in Noida on Tuesday after a prolonged illness. Eighty-year-old Haider had been hospitalised for several weeks, said her family sources
Born in Aligarh, the writer lived in New Delhi for a while before settling in Noida. Considered a trendsetter in Urdu fiction, Haider began writing fiction at a time when poetry was still the dominant genre in Urdu literature.
Haider, author of 12 novels and several short stories, is credited with instilling a new sensibility in Urdu literature.
Aag ki Darya (River of fire), a historical tale that starts in the fourth century and ends in modern India and Pakistan, is considered her magnum opus.
She received the prestigious Jnanpith award in 1989 for her novel Aakhir-e-Shab ke Hamsafar (Travellers unto the night).
Haider was also the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award in 1967, the Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1969 and the Ghalib Award in 1985.
She was also awarded the Padma Shri for her outstanding contribution to Urdu literature.
Haider served as a guest lecturer at various international universities including the University of California and the University of Chicago.