Usha Priyamvada is among the leading figures of modern Indian literature. She was born in 1930 in Kanpur, and studied at Allahabad University. After teaching at Lady Shri Ram College and Allahabad University, she won a Fulbright fellowship to study comparative literature at the University of Indiana. Following that, she was hired at the University of Wisconsin, where she went on to teach for decades until her retirement in 2002. She has published seven novels, a study of Surdas, and numerous short stories.