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. There is another facet to this argument: places seemingly unconnected might well be very near each other in terms of literary representation. In my book, New York is closer to Patna than is usually imagined.
When a publisher in Delhi asked me to write about Patna, he mentioned as a possible model E.B. White’s classic essay, Here is New York.