Posts Categorized: Writing

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 »

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 »

Patna Poems

  I have written before about taking a train to my hometown Patna. This evening I translated two train poems, from Hindi, by the Patna poet Alokdhanwa for @TheTakeaway #ThisIsWhere.   Junction Ah, Junction! Where trains stop for long Collecting water for the rest Of the journey I search there For my old fellow travelers… Read more »

The Place of Place

Download the “Introduction” to A Matter of Rats, entitled “The Place of Place” and written specially for the US edition, here on Scribd. Each book, like a place on a map joined by roads and rivers to other places, is connected to other books. That is certainly true about this books about my hometown, Patna…. Read more »

Choosing My Epitaph

When the Indian edition of A Matter of Rats came out, I was asked during one of my interviews about the epitaph I would choose for myself: Q: What would you like your epitaph to read? AK: He failed often, but look – no one fails all the time. More  

Away From Her

My mother passed away in Patna earlier this month. This eulogy, written on the night of her death, was published in the Indian Express: I am writing these words during a 14-hour flight from New York to Delhi. After landing in Delhi, I will catch another flight, this one to Patna. I am going to… Read more »