Thursday, October 31, 2013
Jhumpa for Jhoy: A New Novel from Lahiri
The Lowland, her recently-released second novel, is a bigger stretch, a bit of a saga. It covers the lifetimes of two brothers, born 15 months apart in Calcutta, now Kolkata. They are very different as young boys, and their differences grow as they age. The older is responsible, dutiful, cautious. The younger is adventurous, daring, wild. The younger brother falls in with a group of Maoist rebels, an involvement that leads to his death. He leaves behind a pregnant wife. The older brother marries the new widow and brings her to America, where he has been living and getting a PhD. He raises the child as his own, but the marriage, to say the least, is troubled.
Although I can't say I liked The Lowland as much as I liked Lahiri's short stories, or The Namesake, that's a minute criticism, since I loved those beyond measure. My only, and ongoing, criticism is that I wish she wrote faster.