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The Lowland

The Lowland

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Language English
Contributor(s) Jhumpa Lahiri
Binding Hardcover
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Overview: The Lowland

Jhumpa Lahiri's second novel, The Lowland, is a heart-warming story of two inseparable brothers whose paths tragically diverge as one of them gets involved in the Naxalite movement. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, this book revolves around Udayan and Subhash and their life in Kolkata, which was Calcutta at that time.

When the Naxalite movement seeps into Calcutta like a wild fire, Udayan gets attracted to it, while Subhash decides to leave for America in order to pursue scientific research. The two take up different paths in life, and try to lead their lives just the way fate has decided. But what they don't know is a tragic change of events, the least one can ever imagine. Will the paths of these two brothers ever meet again? Will Subhash make it to India and see Udayan again?

This tragic family story penned down by the 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri was placed on the shortlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. It was even considered for the National Book Award for Fiction. Further in April, 2014, The Lowland was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Jhumpa Lahiri, an award winning Indian American author is known for her works like The Interpreter of Maladies (published in 1999) and The Namesake (published in 2003). She was the winner of the O. Henry Award in 1999 and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000.

The Lowland was published on September 24th, 2013 by Random House Large Print and is available for online shopping. It is available in hardcover, bearing the ISBN 10 number of 8184003862 and ISBN 13 number of 9788171678075. Filled with emotions and tragedy, The Lowland is hard to put down.

Product Details
Language English
Publication Date September 11, 2013
Publisher RHI
Contributor(s) Jhumpa Lahiri
Binding Hardcover
Page Count 352
ISBN 10 8184003862
ISBN 13 0689724571609
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Customer Reviews on The Lowland

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  3. 3 star (38)
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Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Reviews
  1. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Jhumpa Lahiri at her poignant best 23 November, 2013 On
    What I love about Jhumpa Lahiri’s work is the way she takes up ordinary, everyday, commonplace occurrences and weaves a tale out of them, so effortlessly, that you are left to wonder how come you saw the same things all your life but never noticed such a great story lurking underneath.

    The Lowland, again, is about ordinary people. It is about an ordinary middle class couple living with their two sons, Subhash and Udayan, fifteen months apart, in a small house in the 60s Calcutta. The only thing that separates the two otherwise inseparable brothers is their vastly different ideologies – while Udayan gets drawn to and irrevocably involved in the Naxalite Movement that shook Calcutta to its core back in the 60s, Subhash establishes a stable, respectable life for himself in the States.

    The story oscillates between Calcutta and the United States, the sharp contrast between the two cultures coming through with forceful clarity, as does the difference between the lives of the two brothers. The amazingly detailed description of each road, each nook, each turn of these two vastly different geographical locations makes it more like a movie than a book. I felt I could actually smell the salty breeze over the Rhode island beach and the stench of the swamp at Tollygunge, Calcutta.
    And then, a telegram comes. And life will never be the same again. Subhash has to return home to pick up the pieces that his brother scattered while he was trying to make the world a better place at the cost of everything he ever held dear, including his own life, and his wife, Gauri.

    The Lowland is a story of a romance that survives death, of the glaring lack of it between people inhabiting the same house, the same bed. Of the trauma of a child whose mother abandons her; and the darkness that descends on a mother who has to see her child being mercilessly killed. It is the story of a son who defies his parents to pursue his idea of truth; it is the story of another son who defies his parents to fulfill what he believes is his inherited duty. It is the story of a mother who feels trapped with her daughter and finds escape in her work; it is the story of a grandmother who has lost the right to take her grand-daughter into her arms. It is the story of a wife who helps her husband kill; it is the story of a wife who is relieved to find the traces of another woman in her husband’s life. It is the saga of a father who never met his child; it is the story of a father who loved a child as his own. It is a story of helplessness, of difficult decisions, of irreparable loss, of groundless anger. It is the story of bloodbath; it is also a tale of unbridled love. Delving into more detail in this review might diminish the reader’s joy of discovery of deep-seated gems, so I would leave it at this.

    Jhumpa Lahiri’s expertise lies in her amazing character sketches, which makes it easy for the readers to laugh, weep, brood and feel completely at one with them. The Lowland excavates complicated, shockingly strong emotions from the depths of human psyche and makes sense of them, and shows how they define and shape personalities and alters life paths. Each incident, each turn of events is like a picture, held up at a number of different angles, so the reader can look at it from the viewpoint of each character in the story. And all that is done in a comfortingly lucid flow of words. That is Jhumpa Lahiri’s signature style. To end with a cliché – It is unputdownable.
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  2.  Haunting and haunted 15 September, 2013 On
    Three genererations + linked tragedies = disruption of life.
    Every major character has an empty room in his/her heart that refuses to be filled. This book will find a place in your heart. It fills up the empty spaces in your heart. Note the irony here!

    Jhumpa Lahiri's 'The Lowland' rewards persistence - from theWest Bengal's Naxalite movement to the Autumnal New England academia. As expected from Pulitzer Prize winning author, 'The Lowland' is written with absolute stubbornness to not to follow the conventional plot paths.

    Subhash and Udayan - two inseparable brothers grow up in a suburb of Calcutta known as Tollygunge. As they grow their paths diverge. While Udayan is drawn to the creeping insurgency, Subhash elopes to a college in America.

    Which evetually leads to affect all those closest to Udayan, his ageing parents, his wife Gauri, and the child he will never see. Both Subhash and Gauri are forced to take out of the box decisions as they try to come to terms with events which hurl them together in a most unlikely alliance. The major part of this novel is about the consequences of those choices in the decades that follow, as Subhash and Gauri forge new lives in America.

    Then it takes a surprising trun. People expecting to Arundhati Roy will find more of Joyce Carol Oates here.

    Though few of the reviewers have questioned the depth of Lahiri's characters, and though such reviewers might be right at few instances; the whole point this book is to immerse the readers into the minds of the characters and Lahiri succeeds bravely.

    And come on! It made it to Man Booker prize longlist.
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  3.  A thing of beauty 27 September, 2013 On
    I read this book in one sitting. Not out of compulsion, but because this is perhaps one book which made me sad, made me think, and made me put things into perspective at one time.

    A simple tale of two brothers, and the women torn between them, this is an extremely well researched, and well put together book. What is love is the unique style the author utilizes in framing her conversations, how there is hope and yet gloom in every chapter, and how via her characters she twists your moral compass.

    Read this book and read it again because it is indeed a joy forever.
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  4.  Nice narration 31 December, 2013 On
    Nice narration, but the story does not conclude anything and does not make any point. The characters are mostly self-centered and living their lives in their own ways.
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