The Lowland: Another Beautiful Tale By Jhumpa Lahiri


If you are a literature lover, you must be familiar with the works of Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri, the bestselling writer of The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earthand many other literary works.

She wrote The Lowland in 2013. This book was listed for the Man Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prize and many other honors. This novel by Lahiri is a story of two brothers who started from the same point but due to the extremely different choices they made, their lives turned out to be stark opposites.

Set in Kolkata of late 1960’s and early 1970s where Naxalite movement was taking its toll over the youth of Bengal. One of the two brothers chose to make the most out of the opportunities that knocked on his door; he went to Boston and later became a professor there, leaving his parents and brother behind in Kolkata. However, his heart and mind often ventured to his old place where he spent the first 20 years of his life, where his family is. It is a tale of a man who lives in faraway foreign land but his manners, his memories, his beliefs are still Indian.

The Lowland takes us on the journey of complicated relations, identities, unknown fears, fate and destiny. Like all the other books, Lahiri has successfully portrayed a confused sense of belonging that resides in every NRI’s heart who is not accepted by either of the cultures. It has also painted an intriguing picture of the naxalitemovement that led an intelligent, talented and passionate man to sacrifice all of his life to a revolution he could never see. A man who loved his family and a girl he .later marries but who loved his mission even more than all of them.

Read this book to feel the complexities of any Indian family, the irony of the lives of people living in foreign land. The loneliness all the characters feel in spite of being with people around is a realistic way of writing about the world we live in, due to our own choices.

Lahiri has minutely scrutinized the lives of different people, how they deal with it differently, how cultures can get tangled in one’s heart and those who are free need no culture or identity to identify them as “someone”.

Two brothers, two destinies, one love, various lives; The Lowland is set to grab you in a web of intricate experiences of common lives in an extraordinary way.

Aditi Mishra

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