The most important novel of twentieth-century Urdu fiction, Qurratulain Hyder’s River of Fire was first published as Aag ka Darya in 1959. River of Fire encompasses the fates of four recurring characters over two and a half millennia: Gautam, Champa, Kamal, and Cyril––Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian. In different eras, different relations form and reform among the four: romance and war, possession and dispossession. Lyrical and witty, Hyder’s prose interweaves parables, legends, dreams, diaries, and letters. And she argues for a culture that is inclusive: River of Fire is a book that questions the relevance of religion in defining Indian identity.