Posts By: Amitava Kumar

Knock on the Door

Here’s my latest HT Brunch column. I’m held by the moment when the knock is heard. It evokes a primal fear, a sudden dread bruised by panic and confusion, a nightmare reality intruding into the dream of desire. But what happens inside the drama of love? What are dreams made of? And for those who… Read more »

Roth

I was fortunate to be asked to write about any American classic of my choice for the Library of America: On the right side of my writing desk in my study is a black wooden bookshelf with thick, box-like sections where I keep books I need for my current projects. But on the wall in… Read more »

Partition Lit.

My piece for HT Brunch on the literature of the Partition has a somewhat dissenting take on Manto: In the famous story Toba Tek Singh by Urdu writer, Saadat Hasan Manto, we get a brilliant, biting commentary on the arbitrariness of borders. Manto’s protagonist, Bishan Singh, lives in a lunatic asylum. He doesn’t know whether… Read more »

#TejuCole

My piece on the ways in which Teju Cole on social media sites makes writing and creativity take place in new ways: Everyone understands the idea of prompts. The use of #hashtags on Twitter, in my opinion, offers the most succinct example of incitement to writing. The novelist and photographer Teju Cole has used Twitter… Read more »

Of Academic Interest

I asked the well-known philosopher Judith Butler to unpack for me the phrase “academic interest.”  Here is the piece I wrote for The Chronicle’s Lingua Franca: In a video that is available online, you can watch Judith Butler, philosopher and winner of a bad writing award, speaking to a crowd at Occupy Wall Street. It… Read more »

Teachable Moment

I have written a piece about Claudia Rankine and how she creates teachable moments; for instance, in her commentary on what commentators say about Serena Williams. More generally, the piece is about academe and race: Everything in American public life, when it comes to race relations, serves as a frame for a history of violence… Read more »

Yaddo

  From my latest The Bookist column “What Is It, Dear Heart?”: I am at Yaddo writing a novel about the messiness of love. Yaddo is an artist colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. I have been here for a month. I write every day, I walk in the woods, and before I go to… Read more »

On Poetry

My latest column (“The Bookist,” a monthly column for Hindustan Times Brunch) is on poetry: One night in the early Eighties, in the basement theatre of Shri Ram Centre in Delhi, I heard the Hindi poet Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena read his long poem Kuano Nadi. This was my discovery. I had taken a DTC bus… Read more »

Radio

I saw the above sign at a reading I did at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck. This post is about recent events related to the release of my essay collection, Lunch with a Bigot, primarily links to my radio interviews: with Joe Donahue on WAMC; with Brian Lehrer on WNYC; with John Hockenberry at WNYC’s The… Read more »

Upcoming Readings

Forthcoming readings from Lunch with a Bigot: Tsion Café, Harlem, New York, Thursday, May 7, 2015, 7 PM, in conversation with Akhil Sharma; Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, Friday, May 9, 2015, 7 PM; Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 7 PM, in conversation with Dani Shapiro; Inquiring Minds Bookstore, New Paltz, Friday, May 15, 2015,… Read more »