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The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Lowland (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Jhumpa Lahiri

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,7421643,771 (3.93)1 / 275
Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives--Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America--until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.
Title:The Lowland
Authors:Jhumpa Lahiri
Info:Knopf (2013), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Audiobook, India, 20th Century, Family, Politics, 2014

Work details

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (2013)

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» See also 275 mentions

English (159)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (163)
Showing 1-5 of 159 (next | show all)
Masterpiece. ( )
  bishnu83 | Apr 6, 2021 |
quietly seductive. ( )
  revatait | Feb 21, 2021 |
So achingly beautiful. I love Ms. Lahiri's unmatched ability to paint a picture in my mind - with flowers and rocks and water - I can absolutely see what she is describing. Her characters are flawed and heartbreaking but oh so human, I really enjoyed this book and the audiobook was even better. I read and listened in parts in the car and I got more out of the audiobook. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
Loved this, although it had one of those endings that is bittersweet. ( )
  ShannonRose4 | Sep 15, 2020 |
A character-driven story that considers the broad idea of family and connection, with the backdrop of 1960s-70s India (even when the novel moves past that period). Great writing - direct and succinct, and compelling throughout. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 159 (next | show all)
The Lowland is a novel about the rashness of youth, as well as the hesitation and regret that can make a long life not worth living.
added by zhejw | editNPR, Maureen Corrigan (Oct 7, 2013)
Darkly hued fiction is commonplace in contemporary writing, but The Lowlands is sombre in a distinctly old-fashioned way; it’s not late-stage capitalism and/or environmental collapse that generate the misery in the novel, but rather that quaint concept of fate, or at least character-as-fate. Which is one reason why contemporary readers might balk at this story, its position on the shortlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize notwithstanding. These lives seem rigged.
added by zhejw | editToronto Star, Patricia Hluchy (Oct 1, 2013)
There is real story bravery at work here. It would have been much easier for Lahiri to keep us in the thrust and heave of political agitation — to fixate, perhaps, on the implied betrayal woven into Subhash’s rescue.

Instead, in “The Lowland,” Lahiri tells a quietly devastating story about the nature of kindness. How it is never pure and often goes largely unrewarded. It simply is, and then the floodwaters rise and obscure its role in the landscape for a time.
added by zhejw | editBoston Globe, John Freeman (Sep 28, 2013)
Her prose, as always, is a miracle of delicate strength, like those threads of spider silk that, wound together, are somehow stronger than steel....

Although writing this fine is easy to praise, it’s not always easy to enjoy. And there’s something naggingly synthetic about this tableau of woe. “They were a family of solitaries,” Lahiri writes. “They had collided and dispersed.” But real people are not such shiny billiard balls of sorrow. I couldn’t shake the impression that Subhash and Gauri are being subjected to the author’s insistence on creating a certain sustained effect, as though they were characters in a fable. The years pass like the pages of a calendar being blown between scenes of a silent movie. Every time we catch up with this sad couple, they seem not to have changed at all, except that the plaque of guilt and secrecy has grown thicker. The ordinary complications of daily life do not dilute their desolation or complicate their lives. Gauri spends decades studying philosophy, but somehow the world’s accumulated wisdom never offers her any solace or disruption or insight. She might as well have been studying accounting or geology.

Perhaps these are petty complaints about a book that’s written with such poignancy. If parts of “The Lowland” feel static, it’s also true that Lahiri can accelerate the passage of time in moments of terror with mesmerizing effect.
added by zhejw | editWashington Post, Ron Charles (Sep 24, 2013)
Lahiri has an uncanny ability to control and mold sentences and action, imbuing the characters with dignity and restraint. But for me, this was also the novel's weakness; too often the narration felt cold, almost clinical, leaving me longing for a moment of thaw. I felt ambivalent. It's an intelligently structured book and while the tone and the pace rarely vary, the reader is always sure she is in the hands of a writer of integrity and skill. Yet I still yearned to know more about these people, especially Gauri....

Lahiri is an accomplished writer and though I felt, at times, disappointed, in the end I was sure that there is an important truth here — that life often denies us understanding, and sometimes all there is to hold on to is our ability to endure.
added by zhejw | editNPR, Ellah Allfrey (Sep 23, 2013)

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jhumpa Lahiriprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lahiri, Jhumpamain authorall editionsconfirmed
Peña, Isabel UrbinaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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lascia ch'io torni al mio paese sepolto

nell'erba come in un mare caldo e pesante.

let me return to my home town entombed

in grass as in a warm and high sea.

- Giorgio Bassani, "Saluto a Roma"
For Carin, who believed from the begining, and Alberto, who saw me to the end.
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East of the Tolly Club, after Deshapran Sashmal Road splits in two, there is a small mosque.
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives--Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America--until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.

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Book description
From Subhash's earliest memories, his brother was there. In the suburban streets of Calcutta where they wandered before dusk, Udayan was always in his older brother's sight. So close in age, they were inseparable and yet, as the years pass - as US tanks roll into Vietnam and riots sweep across India - their brotherly bond can do nothing to forestall the tragedy that will upend their lives. Udayan finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty. He will give everything, risk all for what he believes, and in doing so will transform the futures of those dearest to him
Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portrayal of lives undone and forged anew, The Lowland is a deeply felt novel of family ties that ineluctably define who we are.
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