August 1, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Review: The Lowland is exhausting

1 min read

Devika Bakshi reviews Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland in the Open magazine

TheLowlandI seem to resist each new Lahiri. I have a mini-tantrum in my mind, not wanting to participate in the solemn reception. I have trouble with her short stories for the usual boring reasons—too much of the same Calcutta-to-Cambridge displacement, too many micro-collisions of the old world with the new, too much immigrant texture. But these are non-critiques, discomforts born of overexposure or overcontemplation. They also don’t explain why her longer works—her first novel The Namesake, the three-part novella ‘Hema and Kaushik’ which makes up more than half of Unaccustomed Earth, andThe Lowland—managed to hold my attention and interest as they did, especially since excerpts from the latter two, published as short stories in The New Yorker before their release, did not.

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