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Topic: Critical judgments of Jhumpa Lahiri solicited

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Subject: Critical judgments of Jhumpa Lahiri solicited
Date Posted: 2/26/2012 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,544
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I just read a book titled Unaccustomed Earth by a relatively new writer named Jhumpa Lahiri [Bengali]. This writer also won a Pulitzer Prize for an earlier work. All the reviews, from Oprah to The New York Times are absolutely raves. I am not sure if it is a little bit too post-modern for my tastes or what, but while recognizing her considerable talent I would not go so far myself.

Your reviews, fellow readers of Contemporary literature?

Date Posted: 2/27/2012 6:05 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I've read Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies (a short story collection published in 1999) and The Namesake (2003--this was also made into a movie). I think she is a brilliant writer: I own Unaccustomed Earth, but haven't read it yet.


Date Posted: 2/27/2012 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I, too, read Interpreter of Maladies, and enjoyed the stories about the  various immigrants in their new home, the USA.   I recall that when the book first came out, one reviewer (at least) wrote that this Indian woman was, in a curious way, the literary "daughter" to Isaac Bashevis Singer.  His "turf", you recall, was the lives of the Jewish immigrants in the "New World".  Be that as it may, I enjoyed the little book, and also a similar one by another Indian woman writer, Bharati Mukherjee, called The Middleman.  Mukherjee's book, however, was about more different ethnicities than Lahiri's.   My husband and I also found the film version of The Namesake interesting, about the first generation American man brought up in the USA by his Indian immigrant parents.   The 'plot' revolves around the consequences of their giving him the 'temporary' name of "Gogol" (as in Russian writer Nikolai Gogol) and how it chafes him, as boy and man, until he finally understands what lies behind it.

Last Edited on: 2/27/12 3:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1