Posts Tagged: Amitava Kumar

Pyre

I’m thrilled to report that my essay “Pyre,” published in Granta 130, will appear in Best American Essays 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen. My mother died in Patna on 7 January 2014. We cremated her two days later on the banks of the Ganga at Konhara Ghat near Patna, more than 150 miles downriver from… Read more »

The Boy in the Ward

In the latest PEN AMERICA journal, with this issue organized around the theme of “hauntings,” I have the following piece: My elder sister was working as a doctor in a hospital in the small town of Darbhanga, in Bihar, in the mid-1990s. I met this boy there. He had fallen from a tree and broken… Read more »

More Stoner

Here’s my latest blog-post for The Chronicle’s Lingua Franca: When the writer Jim Harrison died last month, I came across the following quote from one of his books: “I wasn’t very long at Stony Brook,” he writes in Off to the Side, “when it occurred to me that the English department had all the charm… Read more »

Nothing Happens

My latest “The Bookist” column for HT Brunch: “Eight Essential Tips for Writers” or “10 Rules for Writing Fiction” or “Advice from Writers” – such bland compilations often include the following line from Kurt Vonnegut: “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.” But then you come across novels… Read more »

The Literature of Sedition

In my latest The Bookist column for HT Brunch, I have reviewed the literature that is critical of the nation-state and its violence. If the police were to burst into your room while you were sleeping and, putting a gun to your head, ask you to name a literary work that was critical of the… Read more »

Meet Desh Deepak

Meet Desh Deepak. He is an ideal boy. But what kind of a reader is he? This line of inquiry started with my reading of the responses on Twitter to my piece in the Times of India. I wrote this piece and also others as a way of posing questions in the current, somewhat toxic,… Read more »

Anti-Stories

On a recent visit to Kolkata, I went in search of a writer of “anti-stories,” Subimal Misra. Misra is an unusual writer, not only because he has avoided the limelight but also because he is has found a form that contests narrative conventions. He has said during an interview: “While watching Sholay, I only wanted… Read more »

Advice to Writers

I have just returned from Delhi (see evidence of my stay above) and delighted to see that Advice to Writers has posted an interview I did with Jon Winokur recently (I have long been a fan of that popular site). How did you become a writer? I must have been fifteen or sixteen. I had… Read more »

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 »