The Lowland is a sweeping, ambitious story that examines in intimate detail the intersection of the political and the personal, encompassing nearly 50 years of Indian and American history through the lives of one family. The novel ripples out from the beginnings of the Naxalite uprising in West Bengal in 1967. Two brothers, Subhash and Udayan Mitra, are attracted by the radical communist movement while at university in Calcutta. But Subhash, the more cautious and sensible of the two, quickly perceives the danger involved and withdraws, leaving to study in the US. Udayan, left behind, becomes more entrenched in militant politics, believing that violence against the state is justified in the name of revolution. It’s not much of a spoiler to reveal that, early on, he is arrested and executed by the police on the lowland behind their parents’ suburban house, supposedly for his part in a violent crime.