Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Lowland

I finally got around to reading Jhumpa Lahiri's new book--I have enjoyed all her previous books very much (Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth), and have been looking forward to this one.  The Lowland  is the story of two brothers, Subash and Udayan, who grow up near the lowland in 1960s Calcutta. Inseparable during their childhood, the two brothers take very different paths as they grow older.  Udayan is a revolutionary, joining the Maoist Naxalite political movement in India, at great risk. Subash is more conscientious, choosing to continue his studies and scientific work in the United States. Though separated, there is a bond between the two that shapes the rest of the story. I found this to be a very sad story of loss and love, almost painful to read at some points--so many mistakes made, so much regret. Lahiri has such a talent at showing the complicated relationships between people--between brothers, with parents,  between mothers and children. The story spans seven decades,  from Subash's birth to the present, and with the rich landscape of India always in the background. A good read, but sad.

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