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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 07:29 GMT 08:29 UK
Famous Indian Urdu writer is dead
Qurratulain Hyder
Hyder won several literary awards
A leading Indian writer of Urdu fiction, Qurratulain Hyder, has died near the Indian capital, Delhi.

Hyder, 80, had been ill for a long time and was admitted to hospital, a family member told the BBC.

She wrote 12 novels and many short stories and in recognition of her literary talents, she won many academic and civilian awards.

After the partition of India in 1947, Hyder went to Pakistan, but returned a few years later and settled in India.

Historical tale

The theme of many of Hyder's books was the pain caused by the partition of the Indian subcontinent.

Her best known novel is the epic Aag ka dariya (River of Fire) - a massive historical tale that moves between the fourth century BC to the modern day.

The book, originally written in Urdu, was later translated into English by the author herself.

Her novel, Akhir-e-Shab ki Hamsafar (They who travel together into the night) won two important literary awards - the Sahitya Akademi award and the Jnanpith Award - and is considered an Urdu classic.

Born in 1927 in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Hyder began writing at the age of 11.

The Indian government honoured her with two civilian awards, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

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