Qurratulain Hyder (1927-2007) is the “great lady” of Urdu letters. A prolific author (twelve novels, four collections of short stories and numerous translations by classical authors), in her major work “River of Fire” she has painted a vast historical fresco that goes from the 4th century BC to the period. post-independence in India and Pakistan. In her short story collections, she paints portraits of very sensitive women with small touches. Her work, widely known in English-speaking countries (she wrote or translated some texts into English) earned her the highest literary awards in India.