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Amitava Kumar

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Amitava Kumar
author of the novel Immigrant, Montana

with Lucas Mann



Carrying a single suitcase, Kailash arrives in post-Reagan America from India to attend graduate school. As he begins to settle into American existence, Kailash comes under the indelible influence of a charismatic professor, and also finds his life reshaped by a series of very different women with whom he recklessly falls in and out of love.

Looking back on the formative period of his youth, Kailash’s wry, vivid perception of the world he is in, but never quite of, unfurls in a brilliant melding of anecdote and annotation, picture and text. Building a case for himself, both as a good man in spite of his flaws and as an American in defiance of his place of birth, Kailash weaves a story that is at its core an incandescent investigation of love—despite, beyond, and across dividing lines.


Amitava Kumar is a writer and journalist. He was born in Ara, 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 novel. He lives in Poughkeepsie, in upstate New York, where he is Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. In 2016, Amitava Kumar was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (General Nonfiction) as well as a Ford Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists.

Lucas Mann was born in New York City and received his MFA from the University of Iowa, where he was the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Nonfiction. His latest book is Captive Audience: On Love and Reality Television (Vintage, 2018). He is also the author of Lord Fear: A Memoir, which was named one of the best books of 2015 by The Miami Herald, Kirkus Reviews, Paper Magazine, Largehearted Boy, and Oprah.com, and Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere, which earned a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and was named one of the best books of 2013 by The San Francisco Chronicle. His essays have appeared in Guernica, BuzzFeed, Slate, Barrelhouse, TriQuarterly, and The Kenyon Review, among others. He has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, the United States Artists Foundation, The Wesleyan Writers Conference, and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, He teaches creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife.

Earlier Event: October 16
Rosemarie Waldrop
Later Event: November 6
Mark Haber