Join us for an evening with Amitava Kumar, author of the widely praised Lunch with a Bigot, as he discusses his new book Immigrant, Montana, a remarkable novel--reminiscent of Teju Cole, W. G. Sebald, John Berger--about a young new immigrant to the United States in search of love: across dividing lines between cultures, between sexes, and between the particular desires of one man and the women he comes to love.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
ONE OF THE NEW YORKER’S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
The young man is Kailash, from India. His new American friends call him Kalashnikov, AK-47, AK. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in--and more than that, to shine. In the narrative of his years at a university in New York, AK describes the joys and disappointments of his immigrant experience; the unfamiliar political and social textures of campus life; the indelible influence of a charismatic professor--also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK's is decidedly not; the very different natures of the women he loved, and of himself in and out of love with each of them. Telling his own story, AK is both meditative and the embodiment of the enthusiasm of youth in all its idealism and chaotic desires. His wry, vivid perception of the world he's making his own, and the brilliant melding of story and reportage, anecdote and annotation, picture and text, give us a singularly engaging, insightful, and moving novel--one that explores the varieties and vagaries of cultural misunderstanding, but is, as well, an impassioned investigation of love.
—The New York Times Book Review
“Intelligent, melancholy, quirky. . . . As cerebral as it is sensual.”
—The Boston Globe
“Funny and self-critical—[Immigrant, Montana] inverts and skewers the colonial narrative.”
—The New Yorker
“A bold and provocative counter-narrative. . . . Kumar writes with disarming honesty.”
“Intelligent and intimate. . . . Ambitious artistic undertakings like Kumar’s are how the literature of exile secures its place in the new country.”
“Droll and exhilarating. . .this coming-of-age-in-the-city story is bolstered by the author’s captivating prose, which keeps it consistently surprising and hilarious. . . . An inventive delight.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A whip-smart. . .exploration of home—or lack thereof.”
“[A] remarkable novel. . .with surprising twists and turns.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Kumar [is] a keen observer of the contemporary American immigrant experience. . . . A droll and inventive tale for the intellectually omnivorous.”
Amitava Kumar is a writer and journalist. He was born in Ara, India, and grew up in the nearby town of Patna, famous for its corruption, crushing poverty, and delicious mangoes. Kumar is the author of several books of nonfiction and a previous novel. He lives in Poughkeepsie, in upstate New York, where he is Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. In 2016, Kumar was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (General Nonfiction) as well as a Ford Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists.