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River of Fire Paperback – 29 Jun 2003
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"Qurratulain Hyder is a wonderful writer. She pairs enormous erudition with a careful eye to detail. Hers is one of the most important Indian voices of the twentieth century."
"An Urdu classic with a breathtakingly vast canvas."
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About the Author
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."
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she was a product of India's composite culture comes through very clearly.
The Urdu version won the highest Indian literary award and also some Pakistani awards. I believe that if the novel had been translated earlier, Hyder would have been added to the list of major world writers whose works are anthologized and taught in the Western academy. But better late than never!
Anyone interested in reading a story that narrates two thousand years of Indian history (major epochs) through recurring characters should read this book. But bear in mind that a book cannot carry the burden of an entire culture and would render its beauty only to the inquisitive and informed readers.