Today I have a review of Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar, available now in paperback from Doubleday/Vintage Anchor. A big thank you to Vintage Anchor for the invitation to review and for the complimentary book!
Immigrant, Montana is both novel and memoir. The main character, AK, is a recent immigrant from India arriving in the United States to study at Columbia.
AK shares about his family in India, as well as his experiences in the US trying to find himself, a way for himself, trying to fit in.
The structure here is unusual, but distinctive and interesting. There are pictures and footnotes that add to the narrative. The most fascinating aspects of the story were the times the main character shared about his life in India.
Overall, Immigrant, Montana is a slim novel relaying an immigrant experience in a nuanced way. This book is powerful and forthright. I look forward to more novels from Kumar.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
A singularly smart, engaging, and moving novel about a young immigrant in search of himself, and love, in the wider world.
Carrying a single suitcase, Kailash arrives in post-Reagan America from India to attend graduate school. His new friends in New York City teasingly call him Kalashnikov, then AK-47, then AK. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in — and more than that, to shine.
As he begins to settle into American existence, AK comes under the indelible influence of a charismatic professor — also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK’s is decidedly is not. Also at play at reshaping AK’s life — and his perception of himself — are the very different natures of the women with whom he recklessly falls in and out of love.
Looking back on the formative period of his youth, AK is studiously observant and meditative and, in the moment, the boisterous embodiment of idealism, confusion, and chaotic desire. His 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, that digs deep inside the varieties and vagaries of the immigrant experience. 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, AK weaves a story that is at its core an incandescent investigation of love — despite, beyond, and across dividing lines.
Have you read Immigrant, Montana, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR