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A Matter of Rats is disconcerting, sophisticated, and recklessly courageous. The stories gathered here bring Patna to life, and accrete to an almost unbearable intensity.”—Teju Cole, author of Open City

“Pound for pound, Amitava Kumar is one of the best nonfiction writers of his generation. . . . No one in India writes a more fine-grained and quietly evocative prose. . . . In his marvelous new work A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, Kumar puts a stethoscope to his hometown and takes a reading of its heart.”—Siddharth Chowdhury, Time Out Delhi

“A Matter of Rats is a wonderfully witty, poignant, and idiosyncratic performance, full of surreal details and the oddest and most delicious digressions. Part memoir, part history, part biography of a rat-infested city in spectacular decline, Amitava Kumar has produced an enjoyably eloquent, gossipy, and discursive portrait of his love/hate relationship with his benighted birthplace.”—William Dalrymple, author of City of Djinns and other books

“In A Matter of Rats, Amitava Kumar writes with such generosity, intelligence, precision and wit that we come to recognize the world he portrays and the heart he excavates as our own.”— Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild