“This fiery, compassionate collection presents a complex, richly textured exploration of Pakistan, its layered past and tragic present. Sharpe does not cloak her poems in feminist rhetoric; she presents instead a nuanced, compassionate vision that yearns for Pakistan’s return to its profound lost beauty. She is a careful observer, reveling in the richness of juxtaposition and has a well-tuned ear for the subtler rhythms that accent Pakistan’s brutal streets…..” Kirkus.
“Working the intersection between cultures and genders, Pat Sharpe goes deeper than most of us can. She slips behind the veils, the screens, the walls, the gates, that keep much of Pakistani life out of view and mysterious. She refuses to ignore the sorrows, but her kaleidoscope is rich and beautiful. Baraka lures us in, and then gives us a hard slap of reality.” Michael Hamilton Morgan. Lost History: the Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers and Artists
“Baraka could have been written by a Pakistani….who loved this land and grieved for it. In these poems Karachi comes alive with a heightened awareness of its natural flow, of its smells, sounds, color and light, and she renders them palpable, all these aspects of the city where we lived, that we love and have quarreled with, of the land that awakens forebodings and a secret prayer. Let us hope she gives us more. More poems.” Fahmida Riaz. Four Walls and a Black Veil
I’m passing by, just as the sun drops down and enters the one window in the sooty back wall of a darkening tea stall, turns opalescent a bubbled flask with assorted tumblers of cheap glass and sets an old teapot to glowing white as a marbled dome on full moon night. Perfect! I think and aim my Canon. A cat, scruffy and lame, springs up. I make a quick adjustment, but click
too late. The cat jumps down. But worse: the owner shuffles around, his tattered vest and back landing smack between my camera’s eye and a still life I’d die for, good luck run dreadfully amok. And yet, moving about the deepening shadows, his shirt, dingy and frayed, also knows the strange radiance of common things at sundown.