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Photo by Don J. Usner

Amitava Kumar

Photo by Don J. Usner

Amitava Kumar is a writer and journalist. He is the author of the novel Immigrant, Montana (Knopf, 2018), which was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times, a book of the year by the New Yorker, and listed by Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of 2018.

His numerous works of literary nonfiction include the prize-winning book A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, described by the New York Times as a “perceptive and soulful” meditation on “the cultural and human repercussions” of the global war on terror. His other titles include Passport Photos, Bombay-London-New York, Husband of a Fanatic, A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, and Lunch with a Bigot: The Writer in the World. His latest book is Every Day I Write the Book: Notes on Style (Duke University Press Books, 2020).

Kumar's writings have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, the Nation, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bookforum, Kenyon Review, and numerous other venues. “Pyre,” an essay first published in Granta, was chosen by Jonathan Franzen for The Best American Essays 2016. He serves on the editorial board of several publications and is the scriptwriter and narrator of two documentary films: “Pure Chutney” (1997) and “Dirty Laundry” (2005).

In 2016, Kumar was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a Ford Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists. Kumar lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he is Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College.

  • 2016