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Bird Milk & Mosquito Bones

Bird Milk & Mosquito Bones

A Memoir

Priyanka Mattoo
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From a wry, insightful, and very funny new voice, here is one woman's search for home, from Kashmir to England to Saudi Arabia to Michigan to Rome and, finally, to Los Angeles--standalone essays that together form a sweeping portrait of a peripatetic life.

"I would follow Priyanka Mattoo to the ends of the earth, because she would know what to eat there, and how to make a friend, and then sit me down and tell me a story." --Emma Straub

Priyanka Mattoo was born into a wooden house in the Himalayas, as were most of her ancestors. In 1989, however, mounting violence in the region forced Mattoo's community to flee. The home into which her family poured their dreams was reduced to a pile of rubble.

Mattoo never moved back to her beloved Kashmir--because it no longer existed. She and her family just kept packing and unpacking and moving on. In forty years, Mattoo accumulated thirty-two different addresses, and she chronicles her nomadic existence with wit, wisdom, and an inimitable eye for light within the darkest moments. She takes us from her grandparents' sprawling home in Srinagar, where her boisterous aunties raced through the halls, to Saudi Arabia, where friendships were gained and lost behind the sandstone walls of a foreigners' compound. We witness her courtship with a nice Jewish boy, now her husband, and her efforts to rep­licate her mother's rogan josh recipe via Zoom. And we are with her as she settles into her unlikely new home­land, Los Angeles, where she sets off on what is perhaps her most meaningful journey: that of becoming a writer.

Through these astonishingly poignant and often laugh-out loud essays, Mattoo has given us an open­hearted, frank, revealing glimpse into a journey of almost constant motion, as well as a journey of self-discovery.


Priyanka Mattoo is a writer, filmmaker, former talent agent, and a cofounder of Earios, a women-led podcast network. She is a contributor to The New York Times and The New Yorker, and a recipient of a MacDowell Fellow­ship. Mattoo holds degrees in Italian and law from the University of Michigan and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and kids.


  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing 
  • Publish Date: June 18, 2024
  • Pages: 304
  • Dimensions: 5.63 X 8.25 X 0.84 inches | 1.06 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9780593320389
  • BISAC Categories: Personal Memoirs - Essays & Travelogues - Special Interest - Literary
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