I was biased about The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri because it became so popular in such a short time. I never liked reading popular books, so I was planning to ditch it as well. But, a friend of mine told me that it is not one of the mediocre popular books out there and I had to try it. I’m so glad I did! Because of Jhumpa Lahiri, I’m less biased about popular books now, just a little cautious.
I was in the middle of the book when my sister asked me what it was about. While trying to explain it to her, I understood that it has many layers. On the one hand, we are reading about the Naxalite movement in India, on the other hand, the intertwined story of three generations. And of course, it is a story about a life wasted without love, a family and life itself. If you have not read Jhumpa Lahiri before, it may be a good start. Enjoy!
Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portrayal of lives undone and forged anew. The Lowland is a deeply felt novel of family ties that entangle and fray in ways unforeseen and unrevealed, of ties that ineluctably define who we are
From Subhash’s earliest memories, at every point, his brother was there. In the suburban streets of Calcutta where they wandered before dusk and in the hyacinth-strewn ponds. Where they played for hours on end, Udayan was always in his older brother’s sight. So close in age, they were inseparable in childhood and yet, as the years pass. As U.S tanks roll into Vietnam and riots sweep across India. Their brotherly bond can do nothing to forestall the tragedy that will upend their lives.
Udayan – charismatic and impulsive – finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty. He will give everything, risk all, for what he believes, and in doing so will transform the futures of those dearest to him: his newly married, pregnant wife, his brother and their parents. For all of them, the repercussions of his actions will reverberate across continents and seep through the generations that follow.
Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portrayal of lives undone and forged anew, The Lowland is a deeply felt novel of family ties that entangle and fray in ways unforeseen and unrevealed, of ties that ineluctably define who we are. With all the hallmarks of Jhumpa Lahiri’s achingly poignant, exquisitely empathetic story-telling, this is her most devastating work of fiction to date.
Nilanjana Sudeshna “Jhumpa” Lahiri is an American author know for her short stories. Novels and essays in English, and, more recently, in Italian.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: