Oblong Online: Amitava Kumar, A TIME OUTSIDE THIS TIME

Event date: 
Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
EST via Zoom

Please note that this event was recently moved from Crowdcast to Zoom. Click the updated link below to register.

In conversation with David Means.

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Amitava Kumar will talk with author David Means about his blistering new novel about fake news, memory, and the ways in which truth gives over to fiction.

Amitava KumarA Time Outside This Time by Amitava Kumar, Jacket CoverDavid Means

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 the novel Immigrant, Montana, as well as several other books of nonfiction and fiction. He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he is Professor of English on the Helen D. Lockwood Chair at Vassar College.

David Means was born and raised in Michigan. His second collection of stories, Assorted Fire Events, earned the Los Angles Times Book Prize for fiction and a National Book Critics Circle nomination. His third book, The Secret Goldfish, received widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. His fourth book, The Spot, was selected as a 2010 Notable Book by The New York Times, and won an O. Henry Prize. His books have been translated into eight languages, and his fiction has appeared The New YorkerHarper’s MagazineEsquireZoetropeThe Best American Short StoriesThe Best American Mystery StoriesThe O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous other publications. He lives in Nyack, New York, and teaches at Vassar College.


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When Satya, a professor and author, attends a prestigious artists' retreat to write, he finds the pressures of the outside world won’t let up: the president rages online; a dangerous virus envelops the globe; and the twenty-four-hour news cycle throws fuel on every fire. For most of the retreat fellows, such stories are unbearable distractions, but for Satya, who sees them play out in both America and his native India, these Orwellian interruptions begin to crystallize into an idea for his new novel, Enemies of the People, about the lies we tell ourselves and one another. Satya scours his life for instances in which truth bends toward the imagined and misinformation is mistaken as fact.
 
Mixing Satya’s experiences—as a father, husband, and American immigrant—with newspaper clippings, the president’s tweets, and observations on famous works of art, A Time Outside This Time captures a feverish political moment with intelligence, beauty, and an eye for the uncanny. It is a brilliant interrogation on life in a post-truth era and an attempt to imagine a time outside this one.

 

“Kumar's marvelous book channels Orwell in its outline of our dilemmas with disinformation. Sensuous and searching, this is an absorbing portrait of an inspired artist in the midst of our maddening cultural moment.”—Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies

“In this age of lies, can we rely on fiction to cover the facts? Amitava Kumar’s entertaining and incisive A Time Outside This Time provides a convincing answer. This novel is both necessary and beautiful.”—Cheryl Strayed, author of Brave Enough

“A brilliant, expansive account of one man’s attempt to follow his moral compass through a maze of disinformation and discord. Kumar has an uncanny ability to find and illuminate the radiance that remains in our half-ruined world.”—Jenny Offill, author of Weather

“Amitava Kumar has the precious ability to write across borders and cultures. This brilliant, anguished novel offers an essential vantage point to our agitated and bewildering world.”—Joseph O’Neil, author of Netherland


Immigrant, Montana Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525436676
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 11th, 2019

Lunch With a Bigot: The Writer in the World Cover Image
$35.03
ISBN: 9780822359302
Availability: Available in our Warehouse: Usually Ships in 3-8 Days
Published: Duke University Press - May 15th, 2015