This book-length poem is set at the time of the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 when thousands of people were killed in civil unrest and millions displaced, with families later split between the two countries. Inspired by family history, Moniza Alvi weaves a deeply personal story of fortitude and courage, as well as of tragic loss, in this powerful work in 20 parts. At the Time of Partition is Moniza Alvi's first new poetry book since her T.S. Eliot Prize-shortlisted collection Europa, published in 2008 at the same time as Split World: Poems 1990-2005.
Shortlisted for T S Eliot Prize 2013.
'She is a skilled storyteller, recounting the extraordinary in the voice of the everyday, so that we accept the miraculous as something we need...the overriding impression is of a deft, restrained language carrying ideas with metaphysical wit and seriousness' - Leonie Rushforth, London Magazine. 'Much of Alvi's work engages with a surreal or fantastical world of fractured and partially recovered identity, working through sequences in her most recent poetry' - Deryn Rees-Jones, Modern Women Poets. 'Moniza Alvi's world is a place of wild energy...Alvi's voice has achieved a relaxed naturalness, a fluidity which allows her to present these delicious, extraordinary poems as though it were easy' - Kathleen Jamie & Hugo Williams, PBS Bulletin. 'One of the few British poets whose work could currently be described as essential reading, not least as we try to grasp what fractures of cultural difference might have contributed to the 7 July bombings.' - Tim Robertson, Magma.
Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. After working for many years as a secondary school teacher in London, she is now a freelance writer and tutor, and lives in Wymondham, Norfolk. Her latest books are At the Time of Partition (Bloodaxe Books, 2013), her new book-length poem; Homesick for the Earth, her versions of the French poet Jules Supervielle (Bloodaxe Books, 2011); Europa (Bloodaxe Books, 2008); and Split World: Poems 1990-2005 (Bloodaxe Books, 2008), which includes poems from her five previous collections, The Country at My Shoulder (1993), A Bowl of Warm Air (1996), Carrying My Wife (2000), Souls (2002) and How the Stone Found Its Voice (2005). The Country at My Shoulder was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Whitbread poetry prizes, and Carrying My Wife was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Europa was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Moniza Alvi received a Cholmondeley Award in 2002.