ISMAT CHUGHTAI (1915-1991) is among the earliest women Urdu writers. Educated at Agra, Aligarh, and Lucknow, she worked as a headmistress first at Jawra State and later at Bareilly. Her literary career started in 1938 with a play. Subsequently she wrote short stories which appeared in the major literary magazines of the time. A major voice in the Progressive Writers' Movement and an outspoken champion of women's causes, she moved to Mumbai, married writer, producer and director Shahid Lateef, and wrote for films and the radio. Her published works include several collections of short stories, three novellas, and ten novels, of which Terhi Lakir, Ajib Admi and Ma'suma have been translated into English as The Crooked Line (Heinemann, 1995), A Very Strange Man (Women Unlimited, 2007) and Masooma (Women Unlimited, 2011). "Lihaf" (The Quilt) is considered her most controversial work as it deals with the plight of a married woman thristing for her husband's love and embrace which, when denied, drive her to the affections of another woman.