Indie Next ListOctober 2013
In this epic tale, two brothers close in age but of very different temperaments are inseparable in their younger years in Calcutta. They become more distant as they mature, however, due to the political passions and ideology of the older, more outgoing brother. An ensuing tragedy forces the younger brother to evaluate his strong bond to his brother and to take on responsibilities he never expected. This is a story of decisions and consequences, family ties and separation, deceit and honesty, as well as cultural differences and similarities. Lahiri's exquisite prose is like quicksilver, sometimes shocking and sometimes warm and comforting. -- Janice Shannon, BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book • A Time Top Fiction Book • An NPR "Great Read" • A Chicago Tribune Best Book • A USA Today Best Book • A People magazine Top 10 Book • A Barnes and Noble Best New Book • A Good Reads Best Book • A Kirkus Best Fiction Book • A Slate Favorite Book • A Christian Science Monitor Best Fiction Book • A People Top 10 Book • An Apple Top 10 Book
National Book Award Finalist and 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.
About the Author
Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of three previous works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake and, most recently, Unaccustomed Earth. A recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, a PEN/Hemingway Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2012.
Praise for The Lowland…
“Poised, haunting, exquisitely effective storytelling. . . . Lahiri is one of our most beautiful chroniclers of the aching disjunctions of emigration and family.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Exquisite. . . . Lahiri explores here what she has always explored best: the fragile inner workings of her characters. . . . An American master.”
“[Lahiri’s] finest work so far. . . . At once unsettling and generous. . . . Shattering and satisfying in equal measure.”
—The New York Review of Books
“Poignant. . . . 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.”
“Intriguing. . . . Brim[s] with pain and love and all of life’s profound beauty.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
—The Washington Post Book World
“In The Lowland, we are all emigrants, not from one country to another but from the present to the future. . . . Tremendous.”
—Lev Grossman, Time
“A masterful work that shines with brilliant language. . . . [Lahiri] has created a masterpiece.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Lahiri is an elegant stylist, effortlessly placing the perfect words in the perfect order time and again so we’re transported seamlessly into another place.”
“Divided consciousness has been Lahiri’s recurrent theme. . . . This time, Lahiri daringly redraws the map. . . . [Her] prose is blunter, less mellifluous: here worlds, new and old, contain terrors.”
“The lowland [of the title] serves as Lahiri’s telling metaphor for the dark, dank, weedy places that haunt our lives. . . . In its quiet intensity, [The Lowland] reminds us of the triumphant fiction of Alice Munro and William Trevor.”
“A classic story of family and ideology at odds, love and risk closely twined. . . . An author, at the height of her artistry, spins the globe and comes full circle.”
“A great American writer.”
“Memorable, potent. . . . Lahiri has reached literary high ground with The Lowland.”
“A master of dramatic turns, but not in the conventional sense. She lets tension build slowly until something snaps. What she twists is you. . . . Lahiri shows that a twist can be even more devastating when you’ve been afraid that it might happen all along. A”
“A must-read. . . . Delivers Lahiri’s trademark lyrical prose woven with a fast-paced narrative and indelible characters.”
“Lahiri returns confidently to the themes that have earned her critical praise, an eager audience and a Pulitzer Prize. . . . [Here] she adds a historical dimension that creates a vital, intriguing backdrop. . . . [The] story is unique, but it’s also universal, a reminder of the past’s pull on us all.”
—The Miami Herald
“Expansive and intimate. . . . Lahiri’s writing is precise and restrained. . . . Loyalty and betrayal, lies and forgiveness, filial responsibility and abandonment, the choices and sacrifices we make to find our way in the world are beautifully wrought in this novel.”
“Subtle but devastating. . . . The themes of this beautifully written novel may be grand—love, revolution, desertion—but it’s an intimate tale that offers no easy answers.”
“The kind of book that stays with you long after you finish it. . . . Full of sharp insights about marriage and parenthood, politics and commitment.”
“Delicately harrowing. . . . Lahiri has a devastatingly keen ear for the tensions and
misunderstandings endemic in our closest relationships.”