Lunch With a Bigot: The Writer in the World

Duke University Press
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To be a writer, Amitava Kumar says, is to be an observer. The twenty-six essays in Lunch with a Bigot are Kumar's observations of the world put into words. A mix of memoir, reportage, and criticism, the essays include encounters with writers Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, discussions on the craft of writing, and a portrait of the struggles of a Bollywood actor. The title essay is Kumar's account of his visit to a member of an ultra-right Hindu organization who put him on a hit-list. In these and other essays, Kumar tells a broader story of immigration, change, and a shift to a more globalized existence, all the while demonstrating how he practices being a writer in the world.
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About the author

Amitava Kumar is Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. He is the author of A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, and Nobody Does the Right Thing, all also published by Duke University Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Apr 24, 2015
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780822375395
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Literary Figures
Literary Criticism / Books & Reading
Travel / Asia / India & South Asia
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Norman Mailer was one of the towering figures of twentieth-century American letters and an acknowledged master of the essay. Mind of an Outlaw, the first posthumous publication from this outsize literary icon, collects Mailer’s most important and representative work in the form that many rank as his most electrifying.
 
As America’s foremost public intellectual, Norman Mailer was a ubiquitous presence in our national life—on the airwaves and in print—for more than sixty years. With his supple mind and pugnacious persona, he engaged society more than any other writer of his generation. The trademark Mailer swagger is much in evidence in these pages as he holds forth on culture, ideology, politics, sex, gender, and celebrity, among other topics. Here is Mailer on boxing, Mailer on Hemingway, Mailer on Marilyn Monroe, and, of course, Mailer on Mailer—the one subject that served as the beating heart of all of his nonfiction.
 
From his early essay “A Credo for the Living,” published in 1948, when the author was twenty-five, to his final writings in the year before his death, Mailer wrestled with the big themes of his times. He was one of the most astute cultural commentators of the postwar era, a swashbuckling intellectual provocateur who never pulled a punch and was rarely anything less than interesting. Mind of an Outlaw spans the full arc of Mailer’s evolution as a writer, including such essential pieces as his acclaimed 1957 meditation on hipsters, “The White Negro”; multiple selections from his seminal collection Advertisements for Myself; and a never-before-published essay on Sigmund Freud.
 
Incendiary, erudite, and unrepentantly outrageous, Norman Mailer was a dominating force on the battlefield of ideas. Featuring an incisive Introduction by Jonathan Lethem, Mind of an Outlaw forms a fascinating portrait of Mailer’s intellectual development across the span of his career as well as the preoccupations of a nation in the last half of the American century.

Praise for Mind of an Outlaw
 
“[Mailer’s] best and brightest.”—Esquire
 
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“As good an introduction to Mailer’s habits of mind as there’s ever been.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
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From the Hardcover edition.
For Andre Dubus, "the quotidian and the spiritual don't exist on different planes, but infuse each other. His is an unapologetically sacramental vision of life in which ordinary things participate in the miraculous, the miraculous in ordinary things. He believes in God, and talks to Him, and doesn't mince words. He believes in ghosts . . . He is open to mystery, and of all mysteries the one that interests him most is the human potential for transcendence."

So wrote Tobias Wolff seven years ago, about Andre Dubus's Broken Vessels, and that insight describes perfectly the twenty-five pieces in this powerfully moving new collection, a continuation of Dubus's candid, intensely personal exploration into matters of morality, religion, and creativity. Since that first book of essays, written after the 1986 accident that cost him his leg and, for a time, the ability to write, Mr. Dubus has published Dancing After Hours, a unanimously heralded book of stories "at once harrowing and exhilarating" (Time).
        Here is Dubus on the rape of his beloved sister, his first real job, a gay naval officer, Hemingway,
the blessing of his first marriage, his dear friend Richard Yates, his own crippling, lost autumnal pleasures, having sons and grandsons, his first books, meeting a woman who witnessed his accident, the Catholic church, and, of course, his faith.
        A writer of immense sensitivity, vulnerability, and thoughtfulness--a master at the height of his talent--whose work "is suffused with grace, bathed in a kind of spiritual glow" (New York Times Book Review).


From the Hardcover edition.
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