Fahmida Riaz


Fahmida Riaz was a prominent poetess, short story writer, novelist and translator. She holds a niche among the feminist writers of Pakistan. Badan Dareeda, Pathar Ki Zuban, Khat-i-Marmooz, Dhoop, Qila Faramoshi and Tum Kabeer are her major works. She also translated the Sindhi books of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sheikh Ayaz into Urdu. Fahmida Riaz, in recognition of her literary services, received the Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz from the Government of Pakistan. Born in what is now the Indian city of Meerut, on 26 July 1946, she was raised in the Pakistani city of Hyderabad where her father was posted around the time of the Partition of India in 1947. The family stayed in Pakistan but her literature would later cross the divide between the two countries. Unlike other women poets of her time, Riaz had a political side which influenced her work. Her political consciousness began with a students’ movement that opposed a ban on student unions imposed by the first military regime of Ayub Khan in the 1960s. In 1998, Ms. Fahmida received Hellman/Hammett Grant by Human Rights Watch. She also received the Pride of Performance Award in 2010 and Kamal-e-Fun Award in 2014.