Presented along with the vivid and high-energy descriptions of her childhood years are the conflicted experiences of growing up in a large Muslim family during the early decades of the twentieth century. We get an intimate view of a writer's fierce struggle to find her own voice and depict with passion and precision the visible and subtle tyrannies of contemporary society. A Life in Words is a searingly honest and compellingly readable memoir of the life of one of the most significant Urdu writers of all time. Ismat Chughtai (1911 - 1991) was Urdu's most courageous and controversial woman writer in the twentieth century. Often perceived of as a feminist writer, Chughtai explored female sexuality while also exploring other dimensions of social and existential reality.