Naiyer Masud was born in 1936 in Lucknow. He did two separate PhD degrees in Urdu and Persian, and was a professor of Persian at Lucknow University. He started publishing his fictional work in the 1970s, of which four collections have appeared so far. Two collections of selected stories have appeared in English translation as Essence of Camphor and Snake Catcher, the former later also translated into Finnish, French, and Spanish. Besides fiction, he has several volumes of critical studies of classical Urdu literature to his credit and has also translated Kafka and numerous contemporary Iranian short stories. In 1977 he visited Tehran at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture, Government of Iran. Today he is considered South Asia’s foremost Urdu short-story writer and was the recipient, in 2008, of India’s highest literary award, the 17th Saraswati Samman.