Book Review: ‘The Yellow Book: A Traveller’s Diary’ by Amitava Kumar

A Journey of Observations, Hope, and Artistry Amid Global Realities.


Book Title: The Yellow Book: A Traveller’s Diary
Author: Amitava Kumar
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 216
ISBN: 978-9356996021
Date Published: Nov. 18, 2023
Price: INR 450

The Yellow Book A Travellers Diary by Amitava Kumar Book Cover

Book Review

Amitava Kumar’s “The Yellow Book: A Traveller’s Diary” unfolds as a captivating journey through the author’s observations of global realities during the tumultuous first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This arresting document of our times provides a peek into the heart of a writer and artist, offering a unique perspective on the world both outside and within. The book is not just about traveling physically but delves into the profound question of self-discovery through exploration. It poses inquiries about the end of our journeys, the evolution of ourselves, and the hope that can arise from the process.

The narrative takes readers from London to the author’s native Motihari and beyond, providing a compelling account of his experiences during the Omicron wave with American students and subsequent travels in India. As the 38th book by this internationally renowned author, “The Yellow Book” stands as a remarkable follow-up to his previous work, “The Blue Book,” showcasing Kumar’s ability to assemble not only a journal or a book but also a life.

Amitava Kumar’s writing in “The Yellow Book” is marked by introspection, describing the world through a lens that is both personal and universal. Through words and drawings, he reveals the keen observations of a writer, capturing the times he lived through and how he chooses to remember them. The book reflects his commitment to keeping creativity alive despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The writing style, characterized by a conversational tone, invites readers to join Kumar on his introspective journey. Descriptive and journalistic elements vividly depict the places, people, and events, offering a nuanced understanding of travel, culture, and the global context. The incorporation of art, a distinctive feature in Kumar’s work, adds an extra layer of depth to the narrative, resembling the original “Yellow Book” publication.

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In essence, “The Yellow Book: A Traveller’s Diary” is not just a travelogue but a rich tapestry of personal reflections, contemporary issues, and the enduring call for hope. Amitava Kumar’s blend of introspection, description, conversation, journalism, and art creates a multi-faceted reading experience, allowing readers to engage with the text on various levels and find inspiration in the author’s profound journey.

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