Dharker draws from a wellspring of incisive intelligence with an undertow of emotion to map the contusions inflicted on the feminine psyche, its avowal of rebellion and redemption. In Honour Killing, she writes, I'm taking off this veil,/this black veil of a faith/that made me faithless/to myself. Only occasionally does she lapse into rhetoric as in Announcing the Arrival, but for the main, her internal cadences are both fluid and sharp, her tone never falters into sentimentality.
Dharker, who was born in Lahore, grew up in Glasgow, and worked for several years in Bombay, has been an adroit amalgamation of several cultures. She puts it crisply in this singular image: The fingers on my hand turn/ into forks.