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Unaccustomed Earth

by

Unaccustomed Earth Cover

ISBN13: 9780307265739
ISBN10: 0307265730
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

The Rooster 2009 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

Unaccustomed Earth is in many ways a deeply and authentically sad book. I would not advise reading the stories too quickly; they will each haunt you for days afterward (and, unusually in a collection like this, they are all equally strong). But Lahiri's prose is worth it; her work is masterful, confident, and timeless, and this gorgeously written collection of stories is her strongest fiction yet.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Jhumpa Lahiri is, and is not, an old-fashioned writer. She is too natural to be anyone's imitator. Yet the kind of relationship she invites readers into can feel familiar from some of the books we were drawn into long ago, when we were first learning about the good company reading can provide." Sarah Kerr, The New York Review of Books (Read the entire New York Review of Books review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the internationally best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a superbly crafted new work of fiction: eight stories — longer and more emotionally complex than any she has yet written — that take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand as they enter the lives of sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, friends and lovers.

In the stunning title story, Ruma, a young mother in a new city, is visited by her father, who carefully tends the earth of her garden, where he and his grandson form a special bond. But he's harboring a secret from his daughter, a love affair he's keeping all to himself. In A Choice of Accommodations, a husband's attempt to turn an old friend's wedding into a romantic getaway weekend with his wife takes a dark, revealing turn as the party lasts deep into the night. In Only Goodness, a sister eager to give her younger brother the perfect childhood she never had is overwhelmed by guilt, anguish, and anger when his alcoholism threatens her family. And in Hema and Kaushik, a trio of linked stories — a luminous, intensely compelling elegy of life, death, love, and fate — we follow the lives of a girl and boy who, one winter, share a house in Massachusetts. They travel from innocence to experience on separate, sometimes painful paths, until destiny brings them together again years later in Rome.

Unaccustomed Earth is rich with Jhumpa Lahiri's signature gifts: exquisite prose, emotional wisdom, and subtle renderings of the most intricate workings of the heart and mind. It is a masterful, dazzling work of a writer at the peak of her powers.

Review:

"The author's ability to flesh out completely even minor characters...will keep readers invested in the work until its heartbreaking conclusion." Library Journal

Review:

"An eye for detail, ear for dialogue and command of family dynamics distinguish this uncommonly rich collection." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Each of Lahiri's stories is a powerful tale that pulls us in, mesmerizes us while we're there, and releases us with the knowledge that we've just experienced a small masterpiece. This is truly dazzling fiction at its best." Oregonian

Review:

"The stories...are both memorable and unpredictable. And while they reflect another culture, they also edge into our lives resulting in a universal experience filled with emotional connections that cross borders." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"A Chekhovian sense of loss blows through these new stories: a reminder of Ms. Lahiri's appreciation of the wages of time and mortality and her understanding too of the missed connections that plague her husbands and wives, parents and children, lovers and friends." Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Review:

"[A] powerful collection of short stories....As in all her fiction, Lahiri's prose here is deceptively simple, its mechanics invisible, as she enters into her characters' innermost journeys." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[E]ight beautifully crafted stories that reaffirm [Lahiri's] status as one of this country's most accomplished and graceful young writers." Boston Globe

Review:

"These stories are often doleful and elegiac, but Unaccustomed Earth is cause for celebration: It showcases a considerable talent in full bloom." San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis:

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lahiri delivers eight dazzling stories that take readers from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand as they explore the secrets at the heart of family life.

Synopsis:

US

About the Author

Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London and raised in Rhode Island. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the author of two previous books. Her debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and The New Yorker Debut of the Year. Her novel The Namesake was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, and was selected as one of the best books of the year by USA Today and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

kgg, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by kgg)
My husband and I have a busy family life with two young children, and this book was worth losing sleep over as I stayed up late to finish a story each night!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Gracie, September 11, 2010 (view all comments by Gracie)
Jhumpa Lahiri's short stores never disappoint. They're character-driven gems that completely draw you in. I spent the past few days taking this book everywhere with me, reading on the subway, and it was always hard to put away.

The stories in the book span the globe, and no matter where the characters are, no matter where they're from or where they're going, whether they're children or adults, each one is vividly drawn and fully realized, easy to identify with and understand. They face life's challenges—whether moving to another continent, losing family, or trying to hold relationships today—as best they can, and it's a privilege to go on that journey with them.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Scott Kaller, January 15, 2010 (view all comments by Scott Kaller)
An emotionally moving piece of a book. Its not often that short stories can pack so much thought and feeling into their condensed plot. I was completely hooked on each story and thoroughly devoted to its detailed characters. Lahiri has a keen way of crafting a complete world in very few words. She has brought the short story more attention and helped reshape my idea of what a short story can be. Each one is beautifully detailed and concise. And when each story ends, I can't help but reflect on them and how elegantly simple the stories are, yet they are overflowing with passion and detail.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307265739
Author:
Lahiri, Jhumpa
Publisher:
Knopf
Author:
Lahiri, Jhumpa
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Bengali (South Asian people)
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Bengali Americans
Subject:
Bengali (South Asian people) - United States
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080401
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.35x6.17x1.25 in. 1.19 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2009
» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Unaccustomed Earth Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780307265739 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Unaccustomed Earth is in many ways a deeply and authentically sad book. I would not advise reading the stories too quickly; they will each haunt you for days afterward (and, unusually in a collection like this, they are all equally strong). But Lahiri's prose is worth it; her work is masterful, confident, and timeless, and this gorgeously written collection of stories is her strongest fiction yet.

"Review A Day" by , "Jhumpa Lahiri is, and is not, an old-fashioned writer. She is too natural to be anyone's imitator. Yet the kind of relationship she invites readers into can feel familiar from some of the books we were drawn into long ago, when we were first learning about the good company reading can provide." (Read the entire New York Review of Books review)
"Review" by , "The author's ability to flesh out completely even minor characters...will keep readers invested in the work until its heartbreaking conclusion."
"Review" by , "An eye for detail, ear for dialogue and command of family dynamics distinguish this uncommonly rich collection."
"Review" by , "Each of Lahiri's stories is a powerful tale that pulls us in, mesmerizes us while we're there, and releases us with the knowledge that we've just experienced a small masterpiece. This is truly dazzling fiction at its best."
"Review" by , "The stories...are both memorable and unpredictable. And while they reflect another culture, they also edge into our lives resulting in a universal experience filled with emotional connections that cross borders."
"Review" by , "A Chekhovian sense of loss blows through these new stories: a reminder of Ms. Lahiri's appreciation of the wages of time and mortality and her understanding too of the missed connections that plague her husbands and wives, parents and children, lovers and friends."
"Review" by , "[A] powerful collection of short stories....As in all her fiction, Lahiri's prose here is deceptively simple, its mechanics invisible, as she enters into her characters' innermost journeys."
"Review" by , "[E]ight beautifully crafted stories that reaffirm [Lahiri's] status as one of this country's most accomplished and graceful young writers."
"Review" by , "These stories are often doleful and elegiac, but Unaccustomed Earth is cause for celebration: It showcases a considerable talent in full bloom."
"Synopsis" by , Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lahiri delivers eight dazzling stories that take readers from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand as they explore the secrets at the heart of family life.
"Synopsis" by , US
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