Ahmad Ali is considered to be a major fiction writer in the tradition of realistic fiction. He started his literary career at a time when writing in romantic tradition was the order of the day and sentimental and fanciful creative works were quite popular. His first Urdu story entitled “Mahawaton ki Aik Raat” was published in the annual number of Humanyun in January, 1932. He was also included in the controversial collection of stories Angaarey in the same year which was later banned on the charge of being obscene.
Ahmad Ali was born on July 01, 1910 in Delhi. He received his education at Mirzapur and Azamgarh. He went to Aligarh Muslim University subsequently for his post-school education. Later, he got his degrees of B. A, and M. A. in English from Lucknow University. He also taught at Lucknow University from 1931 to 1941. During this period, he also worked as a representative of the BBC. Following the Partition of India, he migrated to Pakistan and joined its foreign service and rendered his services as a diplomat from 1948 to 1960. He was appointed the first ambassador of Pakistan to China. Ahmad Ali passed away on 14 January, 1994 in Karachi.
Ahmad Ali wrote in Urdu and English and acquired a name in both the languages. His first English novel Twilight in Delhi brought him to eminence and the novel remained a talking point for many years. It is still considered to be one the major English novels. He also published translations of Urdu poetry translated classical Urdu poetry into English and put them together in The Golden Tradition. His Urdu short stories were published in Sholay, Hamari Gali, Qaid Khaha, and Maut se Pehley.