Ismat Chughtai (1911–91) was Urdu’s most courageous and controversial woman writer in the twentieth century. She carved a niche for herself among her contemporaries of Urdu fiction writers—Rajinder Singh Bedi, Saadat Hasan Manto and Krishan Chander—by introducing areas of experience not explored before. Her work not only transformed the complexion of Urdu fiction, it brought about an attitudinal change in the assessment of literary works. Although a spirited member of the Progressive Writers’ Movement in India, she spoke vehemently against its orthodoxy and inflexibility. Often perceived of as a feminist writer, Chughtai explored female sexuality while also exploring other dimensions of social and existential reality.