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Jhumpa Lahiri: Unaccustomed Earth

Posted by nybookworm on March 26, 2009

jhumpa-lahiriThis is the latest book by Jhumpa Lahiri, author of the Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies.   I read this book in hardcover last year but it is coming out in paperback in April so this is a timely posting! (for once).  Unaccustomed Earth is a collection of eight short stories evoking Lahiri’s favorite theme of the Bengali immigrant experience and the divide between immigrant parents and their Americanized children.  The stories are powerful and beautifully written.  Each time I finished a story I was hoping I had many more left and when I finished the last one I turned back to my favorites and read them again.  Her prose conveys perfectly the awkward gulf between parents who cling to their traditions and their children who grow up American with all of this country’s pressures to assimilate.  Maybe because I am an immigrant myself I found this book especially touching but whether or not you can relate, she describes each emotion and each awkward interaction with such dexterity that it is hard not to feel for the characters.   

Amazon link to Unaccustomed Earth here:  http://www.amazon.com/Unaccustomed-Earth-Stories-Vintage-Contemporaries/dp/0307278255/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238087068&sr=1-1

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