This is Moniza Alvi's first full-length poetry collection, and includes a number of poems which won the 1991 Poetry Business Competition. At the heart of the collection is a group of poems called "Presents from Pakistan," which explores the gathering significance to the poet of her birthplace. Many people today have a "country at their shoulder"—a homeland left behind, or a birthplace seldom, perhaps never, visited, but nevertheless a vital part of their imaginary and real lives. Highlighting the uneasy as well as the celebratory, these poems are diverse in both subject and approach. They are written with a light touch, but they are rich in imagery, and the poet's voice, though delicate, is distinct and memorable.
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