A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna

by Amitava Kumar

Category: City Series

It is not only the past that lies in ruins in Patna, it is also the present. But that is not the only truth about the city that the author explores in this vivid, entertaining account of his home town. We accompany him on journeys and memories through many Patnas, the myriad cities locked within the city—the shabby reality of the present-day capital of Bihar; Pataliputra, the storied city of emperors; the dreamlike embodiment of the city in the minds and hearts of those who have escaped its confines… Full of fascinating observations and impressions, A Matter of Rats reveals a challenging and entertaining city which exerts a lasting pull on all those who drift into its orbit.

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About the Author

Rats have burrowed under the railway tracks in Patna. As citizens of a literal underworld, I imagine the rats inhabiting a spreading web of small safe houses and getaway streets…

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Praise for the Book

  • ‘A Matter of Rats’ is disconcerting, sophisticated, and recklessly courageous. The stories gathered here bring Patna to life, and accrete to an almost unbearable intensity. —Teju Cole, author of ‘Open City’
  • Heaven, Hell and Earth Read more

Forthcoming Titles