The twenty-six essays in Lunch with a Bigot, ranging from memoir to reportage to literary criticism and cultural activism, outlines Kumar's examination of the self and of the world.
Through the essays, Kumar explores his cultural past and present; the issues of travels and migration; encounters with writers Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi and Arundhati Roy; the craft of writing and VS Naipaul - the personal and professional that influenced his writing; and the struggles of the Bollywood actor, Manoj Bajpai. The essays are assembled here in four sections: reading, writing, places, and people. They also tell the story of a writer's discovery of his material.
The title essay, 'Lunch with a Bigot', is an account of Kumar's visit to an ultra-conservative Hindu nationalist who denounced him and put him on a hit list for marrying a Pakistani Muslim.
In these and other essays, published over a period of fifteen years, 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.