The Roundtable
11:35 am
Mon May 12, 2014

"A Matter Of Rats: A Short Biography Of Patna" By Amitava Kumar

    

  Amitava Kumar is a novelist, poet, journalist, filmmaker, and Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. He is the author of A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb and Nobody Does the Right Thing: A Novel. His new book, A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, is an entertaining account of his hometown.

Kumar's ruminations on one of the world's oldest cities, the capital of India's poorest province, are also a meditation on how to write about place. His memory is partial. All he has going for him is his attentiveness. He carefully observes everything that surrounds him in Patna: rats and poets, artists and politicians, a girl's picture in a historian's study, and a sheet of paper on his mother's desk.

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