FORTHCOMING: Immigrant, Montana: A Novel (published by Faber in the UK, Knopf in the US, and in translation by publishers elsewhere).
Also, published in India in 2017, under the title The Lovers: A Novel (Aleph Book Company).
Advance Praise for Immigrant, Montana:
“Amitava Kumar’s Immigrant, Montana is a beguiling meditation on memory and migration, sex and politics, ideas and art, and race and ambiguity. Part novel, part memoir, this book is as sly, charming, and deceptive as its passionate protagonist, a writer writing himself into being.”
–Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizers, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“Amitava Kumar’s Immigrant, Montana is romantic, natural, gorgeously detailed, and painfully truthful about exile, grad school, sex and the South Asian man. Few novels have captured the mental texture of immigration so accurately.”
–Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs
Amitava Kumar’s new novel brings to mind W. G. Sebald’s work, but Kumar has a deeper curiosity in the borderless-ness of storytelling as a confrontation to all kinds of borders imposed upon his characters by the external and the artificial, as we see more and more in today’s world. Audacious in its scope yet with refreshing attention to detail, Immigrant, Montana is one of those novels that, with each rereading, a reader will unlock another treasure box of joy.
–Yiyun Li, author of Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life
There is a buoyant energy and hilarity to this account of an Indian student seeking the wide world through the women he meets, but one laughs with growing unease as a darker undercurrent is slowly revealed. An unusual, brave twist on the migrant’s tale.
–Kiran Desai, winner of the Booker Prize for The Inheritance of Loss, winner of the Booker Prize
Immigrant, Montana is a delight.
–Hanif Kureishi, author of Intimacy and other novels
In Immigrant, Montana, Amitava Kumar pushes at the boundaries of the novel in the best way— reminiscent of Ben Lerner and John Berger—to open up a completely new, thrilling exploration of a particular immigrant experience, one that is fearlessly cosmopolitan and witty in its natural appropriation of cultural materials.
This is a deeply American novel, one that delves into the messiness of love (and sex!), and the meeting point between identity, character, place, and the constant cultural stuff floating around. I was reminded, strangely, reading it, not only of our contemporary explorers—Teju Cole and Ben Lerner and Lydia Davis—but also … Philip Roth, and so many others who had the skill and talent and, above all, the humor to do whatever was necessary to delve into the lives of their characters, even if it meant breaking with traditions and incorporating new ways of using the materials of the culture: we are, their work says, not only internal beings struggling for love and meaning in our lives, but also complex amalgamation of cultural and historical information. Above all, Kumar’s novel was uproariously funny and deeply moving.
–David Means, author of Hystopia
Praise for The Lovers:
“a dazzling treatise on the nature of reality, fiction and desire”
“The Lovers aligns itself with that great tradition of mixed-form novels by writers such as W.G. Sebald, John Berger, Geoff Dyer and Teju Cole…”
“While Kumar’s previous books have mostly stayed in the realm of non-fiction—Lunch With A Bigot comprised a collection of superb essays, A Matter Of Rats was a wonderful rumination on Patna, but also on writing about places, Bombay London New York was a figurative wandering through these cities in search of the themes and inspirations of Indian writers in English—The Lovers is clearly subtitled A Novel. But Kumar’s storytelling becomes genre-defying, almost playfully so. In the tradition of W.G. Sebald, Patrick Modiano, Péter Esterházy, Kumar too riotously blends the factual, the real, with the fictional…”
“…a sharp blend of fiction, non-fiction, myth-making and history, telling a story that perhaps only Kumar can.”
“…the book, in addition to being a novel about love, is about the process of writing itself.”
“Part fictionalized memoir, part academic discussion of history and memory, and part erotic romance, the novel is riveting. Amitava Kumar’s The Lovers makes its readers think, even against their will.”