March 22, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Bookmarked Musings: Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland by Ramlal Agarwal

1 min read

In this essay, Ramlal Agarwal explores Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland (Random House India, 2014) and its main protagonist Gauri’s perspective on life vis-a-vis Ashima’s perspective from The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Born of Indian parents in London and settled in America, Jhumpa Lahiri came into the spotlight with her debut book of short stories, The Interpreter of Maladies. It established her as a writer to be reckoned with and won her the prestigious Pulitzer Award and many other awards. Only a few writers have had such distinctions. Then came The Namesake, The Unusual Earth, and The Lowland sustained her reputation as a best-seller writer.

The Lowland was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction. Her latest novel, Whereabouts, was originally written in Italian and translated into English by herself. She has also published a collection of essays called Translating Myself. The novel The Lowland is about a woman haunted by her past. The past permeates her entire being to the point where she is completely unaware of her surroundings. The present passes her by. She is indifferent to the two most important people in her life—her husband Subhash and her daughter Bela.

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