Posts Tagged: Amitava Kumar

The Small Voice of Literature

My latest column for the Hindustan Times is on the literature of small towns. Politicians offer propaganda in a loud voice. Ditto for pundits. I love the small voice of literature. As Joan Didion said, we tell ourselves stories in order to live. The writing about small towns or about provincial life is appealing because… Read more »

LA Review of Books

I’m pleased to share news about Lunch with a Bigot. It was included on a list of Ten Best Books of 2015 Published by an Academic Press. I’m particularly delighted by this excellent piece on the book in the Los Angeles Review of Books: AMITAVA KUMAR’S collection of essays Lunch with a Bigot: The Writer… Read more »

Sacred Cows

Scroll has posted an article about the police taking offense at a plastic cow used in an art installation in Jaipur. A couple days ago, Scroll had also published an article by me, recounting a conversation with scholar Wendy Doniger about cows and the beef controversy: Doniger is perhaps the most renowned scholar of Hinduism… Read more »

Writing About Cities

In my latest column for HT Brunch, a report on writing about cities: The Jaipur Literature Festival recently came to the US – to Boulder, Colorado, at the foothills of the tall Rockies. Partly as a result of the thin mountain air, and partly because of its wide skies and intense bright light, but maybe… Read more »

Subodh Gupta

In response to an invite from the AAWW, I visited the Queens Museum and wrote about a work of my choice in their exhibition of modernist and contemporary Indian art. The piece I chose was Subodh’s Gupta’s “What does the room encompass that is not in the city?” I had an hour to look at… Read more »

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 »

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 »