Throwback Thursday : The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

This is my post for this week’s  Throwback Thursday. I wrote a whole lot about this meme in this post, do check it out! And feel free to join me!Post your own Throwback Thursday and link it back to this post or the post whose link I mentioned above.


Title : The Lowland

Author : Jhumpa Lahiri

Genre : Literary Fiction, Indian fiction

Read in : November, 2013

Goodreads summary :

Two brothers bound by tragedy; a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past; a country torn by revolution. A powerful new novel–set in both India and America–that explores the price of idealism and a love that can last long past death.

Growing up in Calcutta, born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead of them. It is the 1960s, and Udayan–charismatic and impulsive–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. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he comes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind–including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.

Initial thoughts : This book was a beautiful piece of cultural history, which blended politics and family dynamics well with the story. We’re currently studying one of Jhumpa Lahiri’s short stories in school, which basically led me to write about this book in today’s Throwback Thursday. Back when I read this book, I loved it. Lahiri’s writing is beautiful and lyrical and sad, and the story is extremely well-crafted and poignant. The various familial relationships are beautifully explored and the setting and political background works wonders for the story.

Present thoughts : Since I’m studying one of Lahiri’s works in school now, I feel like I have a deeper and better understanding and appreciation for her work, and that has made me hold this book closer to my heart than it was before. I hardly remember the little details of the book, and if someone asked me about the book, I’d probably only be able to give a vague description about the story, without really delving into any detail. And yet, I value this book more, and I wonder how that is possible? Maybe when you read something by an author, and you learn to appreciate it, somehow the impact and value of other books by that author that you read in the past, increases? Also, three years ago, I didn’t appreciate and love literary fiction as much as I do now. And, this book is a beautiful piece of literary fiction, and has a lot to offer. (I can’t wait to re-read it!)


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