Book Review: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
This was the first Jhumpa Lahiri book I read and from the get go, I was enchanted by the poetry of Lahiri’s prose. It is a little difficult for people who have grown up reading Jeffrey Archer’s short stories – people like me who expect every story to have a beginning, a premise and an end – to fully appreciate Lahiri’s work. Fortunately, I had been softened by Arundhati Roy’s and Rohinton Mistry’s books; so the disparity didn’t strike me that hard.
What strikes a chord when reading Lahiri’s work is the everyday-humanness of her stories. You feel for every character, you ache for all of their aches, you understand their sorrows and joys and finally, at the end – there is this stillness, this nothingness, reminding you that all her stories are like life itself. Not everything in life has an ending – happy or otherwise. Reading Lahiri for me was like inhaling an intoxicant; I felt heavy hearted yet light headed. The profound beauty of Lahiri’s prose, the humanness of her characters – all of whom felt like a long lost uncle or aunt or one’s own father or mother or a distant version of oneself – was heart rending.
I often amuse (/fool) myself with my ability to learn from and mimic the writing style of authors; but I am sure I cannot mimic the beauty of Lahiri’s work without going through some life experiences myself.
This review was first published on www.makingrain.blogspot.in.
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