Author: Amitava Kumar
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Passport Photos, a self-conscious act of artistic and intellectual forgery, is a report on the immigrant condition. Organized as a passport, this multi-genre book combines theory, poetry, cultural criticism and photography, as it explores the complexities of the immigration experience, intervening in the impersonal language of the state.
Passport Photos joins books by writers such as Edward Said and Trinh T Minh-ha in the search for a new poetics and politics of Diaspora. Seeking to link cultural, political, and aesthetic critiques, it weaves together issues as diverse as Indian fiction written in English, signs put up by the Border Petrol at the Tijuana border, ethnic restaurants in New York City and the history of Indian indentureship in Trinidad. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
Passport Photos is a meditation on the modalities of the immigrant: on language as law and record of living immigrant dailies; on place as a world one loses that gives rise to identity and belonging; on knowledge as the possession of some and not others, as what the immigrant can be but cannot have. - Lisa Lowe, author of Immigrant Acts
Amitava Kumar is the most grounded of the postcolonial writers today. Passport Photos is a brilliant illustration of his skills. A must-read for anybody interested in immigration, transnational identities, and globalization. - Manthia Diawara, author of In Search of Africa
A radiant text. It connects its own ironic lyricism with an acute awareness of historical context, and is a moving document of the questions posed by symbolic migration. - Sara Suleri Goodyear, author of Meatless Days