A Time Outside This Time: A Novel – Amitava Kumar


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From the acclaimed author of The Lovers, a one-of-a-kind novel about fake news, memory, and how truth gives way to fiction. 

Satya is an Indian writer living in New York. When he attends a prestigious artist’s retreat in Italy, Satya finds the pressures of the outside world won’t let up: a dangerous virus envelopes the globe; Prime Minister Modi wants his citizens to bang plates and pots at 9 p.m.; President Trump continues spreading misinformation online; and the 24-hour news cycle throws fuel on the fire. For most fellows at the retreat, such stories are unbearable distractions; but, for Satya, these Orwellian interruptions begin to crystallize into an idea for his new novel, about the lies we tell ourselves and each other. Knitting together accounts of lynching, Trump’s tweets, newspaper clippings, childhood memories from Patna, Satya’s investigation into a killing near Kolkata, and his tales as a husband, father, and teacher,  A Time Outside This Time is a brilliant meditation on life in a post-truth era. Balancing the public and private, the imagined and the real, Amitava Kumar ushers us across time and space in the name of art and humanity alike, capturing the chaos and dishonesty of the present with intelligence, beauty, and an eye for the uncanny. 

About the Author

Amitava Kumar is the author of Writing Badly Is Easy; The Lovers; A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna; Home Products, which was shortlisted for the Crossword Prize; and A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, which received the Page Turner Award. Kumar’s writing has appeared in Caravan, Harper’s, The Guardian, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and the New York Times. His essay ‘Pyre’, first published in Granta, was selected by Jonathan Franzen for Best American Essays 2016. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016. Kumar is Professor of English at Vassar College. 



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