Saturday, April 5, 2014

Unaccustomed Earth: a Book Review

Unaccustomed EarthUnaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some people think Jhumpa Lahiri can only write one thing. I say, lady, if you know what works, keep on keeping on. And besides, aren't we all just writing the same story over and over again? Reading Lahiri's latest work was cathartic for me. Yes, the stories all feature Bengali Americans, ivy league schools, and generation/culture clashes, but more than that, they feature human interaction and emotion. They feature realistic dialogue and down-to-earth characters woven into otherworldly writing.

Lahiri knows what she does well, and she lets that work to her advantage. She is a short story expert: each one in this collection is technically sound, a wonderful little package of prose. While she herself may not have struck her "roots into unaccustomed earth," content-wise, I'm willing to forgive her. I read the entire collection gleefully, each story still entertained me, and I came away from this book a better person than when I began reading.

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