Posts Categorized: Criticism

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 »

First review is in

Kirkus Reviews calls Lunch with a Bigot “an exuberantly inquisitive collection of essays.” The photograph above is of Hanif Kureishi. I’ve put it up here because 1. he is looking good; 2. I have an essay on him in the forthcoming book; 3. I just wrote a review piece on his latest novel, The Last… 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 »

In the Light of What We Know

My review of Zia Haider Rahman’s “strange and brilliant” novel in the New York Times Book Review. An excerpt: Zafar’s narration shifts registers — “this fluctuation from crystal clarity of exposition to a barely restrained fury” — and folds into lengthy but fascinating digressions. Like the narrator of W. G. Sebald’s “The Rings of Saturn,”… Read more »