National Book Award Finalist
Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death.
Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. 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 goes 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.
Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.
This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
About Jhumpa LahiriSee more books from this Author
“The Lowland” does not seem to be trying to be an epic novel. Although it plays with secrets and emotional turning points...it seems to possess no singular trajectory and no dominant idea beyond that of generational drift.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from NY Times
The landscape, as well as the lives unfolding within it, is conjured magnificently...Survival is fraught for the humans, too, in this engrossing novel...Yet this is a novel in which the most tender of ties are torn asunder, and Lahiri traces these lives as they become haunted by the absence of loved ones.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from Guardian
...it uses trauma and disclosure with an incomparably more subtle, liberating and regenerative power. It's well worth reading if you want to see what Lahiri can do with some of the same materials as those she deploys, to relatively crude effect, in this novel.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from Guardian
Perhaps Lahiri spreads her net a little too wide at times; there are sudden excursions into the viewpoint of Subhash's mother or Udayan, characters who have previously existed through the eyes of others, while Bela, the daughter, feels a little indistinct...But there is no doubt that The Lowland confirms Lahiri as a writer of formidable powers...Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from Guardian
Lahiri’s skill is reflected not only in her restrained and lyric prose, but also in her moving forward chronological time while simultaneously unfolding memory, which does not fade in spite of the years. A formidable and beautiful book.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
The Lowland is a story that examines profound questions about human nature, family, parenting, and love, as well as history and politics. The novel possesses both depth and breadth but is very readable, extremely moving, and doesn’t end with clear-cut answers. Expect the unexpected.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books
Lahiri is an accomplished writer and though I felt, at times, disappointed, in the end I was sure that there is an important truth here — that life often denies us understanding, and sometimes all there is to hold on to is our ability to endure.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from NPR
The greater problem is Lahiri’s prose. The story seems too often like an extended occasion for the writer’s artful displays (not that they’re always that artful)...The writing in The Lowland is everywhere ostentatiously quiet, extravagantly precise, distractingly ceremonial, at least when it’s not cloyingly precious.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from Financial Times
Darkly hued fiction is commonplace in contemporary writing, but The Lowlands is sombre in a distinctly old-fashioned way; it’s not late-stage capitalism and/or environmental collapse that generate the misery in the novel, but rather that quaint concept of fate...Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from Toronto Star
While The Lowland works on a structural level, it’s neither enlightening nor fun to read. Although the dramatic political change that happens in the background of the story provides a bit of a hook, Lahiri doesn’t delve into it, so the most interesting part of The Lowland remains frustratingly vague.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from AV Club
Her style remains the same — she writes clear and unadorned sentences — and their seeming simplicity stands in contrast to the novel’s epic generation-spanning ambition. Lahiri’s ambition pays off: The Lowland is a rich and rewarding read, perfect for an introspective rainy day.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from National Post arts
If you are reading "The Lowland" for anthropological insights over all else, you might feel satiated. Even then, there are problems: Lahiri sometimes dips into cheaply microwaved otherness.Read Full Review of The Lowland | See more reviews from LA Times
Pulitzer Prize winner Lahiri’s standing increases with each book, and this is her most compelling yet...Read Full Review of The Lowland
The Lowland may not have the virtuosic lyrical beauty of previous Booker prize-winner The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, but with every deft leap from one character’s psyche to another, an irresistible human story accumulates that feels at once blisteringly specific and edifyingly universal.Read Full Review of The Lowland
Lahiri is remarkable, achieving multi-layered meaning in an act as simple as “banging the edge of the lid three or four times with a spoon, to break the seal”; this, her second novel and fourth title, is deservedly one of this year’s most anticipated books.Read Full Review of The Lowland
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Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'