Posts By: Amitava Kumar

Granta

Granta 130 carries my essay, “Pyre,” a report on my mother’s death in Patna. A different version of this essay will appear in my forthcoming book, Lunch With a Bigot. This longer essay is titled “Missing Person.”

New Book

This book is forthcoming from Duke University Press, April 2015. Picador India will publish it in the summer of 2015. The cover-art is by Subodh Gupta: “Full Moon,” oil on canvas. My essays in the book, spanning fifteen years, are divided under four headings: Reading; Writing; Places; People. The book includes this brief piece: “Ten… Read more »

The PEN Ten Interview

Go here What is the responsibility of the writer? Our responsibility is only to be honest, even if it means being base or wrong. I fear it is fashionable for many writers to think that they have to be right. I want to be wrong but true. Our task is to be human. – Click… Read more »

On Akhil Sharma’s Art

My essay about Akhil Sharma’s writing, and his new novel Family Life, is now available on the Indian Quarterly website. Here’s an excerpt: I have read what I have written above and am struck immediately by the thought that Sharma himself would never approach his subject in the same way that I have. His writing… Read more »

Meeting the Minister

On the Indian Independence Day, a post went up about my meeting with Jitan Ram Manjhi, the Musahar Chief Minister of Bihar: Toward the end of May, I was driving on the Taconic highway and listening to a report from India on NPR. A reporter was at a bus-station in Gujarat, asking the youth selling… Read more »

Local Business

In the Paris Review, The Daily, my piece on Harry Roseman’s photographs of businesses in Hudson Valley: I first noticed Harry Roseman’s art while dropping off my shirts at the dry cleaner near my home. It is a photograph of the wall in the dry cleaner on which the photograph hangs. Roseman had taken the… Read more »

Bookslut Interview

Daisy Rockwell interviewed me this month for Bookslut (I also love her illustration for the piece): You discuss a Hindi short story in your book, in which the three kilometers the young heroine must walk to college each day is described in three phases, and represents a kind of microcosm of the trials and tribulations… Read more »

Rats in the New York Times

  “A Matter of Rats” calls itself “a short biography of Patna,” the capital city of Bihar, but like Kumar’s other books, it is many (perhaps too many) things at once. A memoiristic essay that strives to reconcile his feelings for his hometown — despair on the one hand and concern on the other, for… Read more »

The Shiver of the Real

I have an article in the latest Caravan on Indian writing in English: The elections had arrived. Each political party presented its manifesto. “Health vans will reach every part of India.” “Necessary legal framework will be created to protect and promote cow and its progeny.” “Every cycle-rickshaw puller will be given an auto-rickshaw or a… Read more »

The Daily Worker’s Chappals

Culture Strike has published a brief adaptation of a section from A Matter of Rats: A couple of days before Independence Day this year, en route to Patna, I met Aman Sethi for dinner at a Delhi restaurant. Sethi is the author of A Free Man, a wonderful account of Ashraf, a daily-wage laborer from… Read more »