She did her M.A. and Ph.D. in Punjabi literature from the Punjab University. At present she is working as Professor of Punjabi in the Punjabi Department of Punjabi University, Patiala. Recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for her novel, Eho hamara jivan (This our life, 1969), in 1971, Tiwana wrote her first, novel, Agni prikhya (The ordeal of fire), which was followed by a chain of novels; Vat hamari (Our path, 1970), Teeli da nishan (Mark of nose-pin, 1971), Suraj te samundar (Sun and ocean, 1972), Doosri Sita (Second Sita, 1975), Sarkandeya de desh (The land of reeds), Dhup, chhan te rukh (Sun shade and trees, 1976), Lammi udari (A long flight), and her latest novel Peele patian di dastan (The tale of yellow leaves).
Apart from these novels, Tiwana has written an autobiography entitled Nange peran da safar (Travelling on bare feet). Tiwana has also published six short-story collections: Sadhana (Endeavour), Yatra (Pilgrimage), Kise di dhee (Someone's daughter), Ik kuri (A girl), Tera kamra mera kamra (Your room my room) and Malan (Gardener's wife). Her short-stories have been translated into English, Hindi and Urdu and published in various journals and included in anthologies.
The characters in Tiwana's novels and short-stories are the downtrodden and the innocent rural folk with suppressed desires and passions. Tragedy and irony mark the main elements of her fiction. Complex inner duality of the female psyche is the chief theme of Tiwana. Besides her achievement in fiction, Tiwana has written two books on literary criticism too.
1. Keshav Malik, Indian Poetry Today, 2 Vols., Delhi, 1985.
2. Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Vol. II., 1966.
3. Niranjan Singh, Jiwan Vikas (in Gurmukhi), Delhi, 1970.
4. Sekhon, S.S., A History of Punjabi Literature, Patiala, 1993.