Best Urdu Authors in the 20th Century

Urdu literature refers to the body of literature produced during the Urdu language’s illustrious 1,300-year history. This period saw the rise of several eminent poets and writers in different genres, be it poetry, prose or other genres such as romantic fiction, fiction or dramas and ghazals. Among these, some stand out as the most distinguished poets of their time and remain popular even today.

Qurratulain Hyder

Known as Qurratulain Hyder, she was an acclaimed writer of modern Pakistani literature. She wrote several novels and short stories but is best known for her classic two-part novel ‘Angary’ which explores how Western influences affect a traditional Muslim family. Her works are widely taught at universities and colleges across Pakistan, as well as other countries such as India and Bangladesh. She also published a collection of poetry entitled ‘Yahan se Lahore tak’. In 2006, she became one of only three recipients of Pakistan’s highest literary honor. The Pride of Performance Award (the other recipients being Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Sachal Sarmast). Some have criticized her for being too outspoken against Islamic extremism yet promoting secularism in her writing.

Saadat Hasan Manto

Born into a Muslim family, Manto was an influential Pakistani writer who wrote mainly in Urdu and is best known for his short stories. He studied law but never practiced, opting instead to work as a movie screenwriter and occasional film actor. During Partition, he left his native India and ended up settling in Lahore, Pakistan, where he died in 1955 at age 42 after a battle with alcoholism. He’s often called Pakistan’s most famous short story writer by Western critics. In addition to writing fiction, Manto was also an outspoken political commentator on both sides of the border.

Dagh Dehlvi

This amazing poet, essayist and novelist wrote his first ghazal in 1925, when he was only 13 years old. His work is known for its combination of traditional style with modern content and subject matter. Creating a new kind of poetry that became quite popular in many parts of India. He had also wrote several novels, including one called Zarb-e-Kaleem (The Sword of Eloquence), which had published shortly after his death. This novel was very well received by critics and is considered to be one of his best works. Most people consider him to be one of the greatest authors in modern Urdu literature.

Bano Qudsia

Bano Qudsia, (born March 31, 1948) is a Pakistani novelist and writer. She has written many novels, short stories and dramas for Pakistani television. She is best known for her novel Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan. Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan was also made into a serialized drama on PTV which earned Bano Qudsia critical acclaim. It was directed by Yawar Hayat Khan and scripts were written by Khalil-Ur-Rehman Qamar and Jameel Jalibi.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

The left-wing Pakistani poet and writer is often considered to be one of Pakistan’s greatest poets. He also worked as a journalist, editor, and political activist. Faiz was born in India but moved to Pakistan after partition. He was famous for his protest poetry, which promoted social reforms.

faiz ahmed faiz
faiz ahmed faiz

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