Imtiaz Dharker is an accomplished artist, and this selection drawn from her first two collections Purdah and Postcards from god includes her own drawings for these sequences.
In Purdah she memorialises the betweenness of a traveller between cultures, exploring the dilemmas of negotiation among countries, lovers, children.
Postcards from god meditates upon disquietudes in the poet's chosen society: its sudden acts of violence, its feuds and insanities, forcing her into a permanent wakefulness that fits her eyes with glass lids.
If the poems collected in Purdah are windows shuttered upon a private world, those gathered into Postcards from god are doorways leading out into the lanes and shanties where strangers huddle, bereft of the tender grace of attention.
"The poems are amplified by powerful black and white drawings by the author. The line is Imtiaz Dharker's sole weapon in a zone of assault which stretches over the Indian subcontinent's bloody history, the shifting dynamics of personal relationships and the torment of an individual caught between two cultures, divergent world-views."
Ranjit Hoskote, The Times of India
"Hers is a strong, concerned, economical poetry, in which political activity, homesickness, urban violence, religious anomalies, are raised in an unobtrusive domestic setting, all the more effectively for their coolness of treatment."
Alan Ross, The London Magazine
"Here is no glib internationalism or modish multiculturalismÖ Displacement here no longer spells exile; it means an exhilarating sense of life at the interstices. There is an exultant celebration of a self that strips off layers of superfluous identity with grace and abandon, only to discover that it has not diminished, but grown larger, generous, more inclusive."
Arundhathi Subramaniam, Poetry International