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!
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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.
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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.
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Wendy Robards, February 22, 2009 (view all comments by Wendy Robards)
Lahiri is a gifted storyteller, one who writes effortlessly and ties together complex themes with ease. Her writing is often simple, yet beautifully constructed with rich detail and in-depth characterizations. Readers who might shy away from short stories will find themselves delighted with Lahiri’s ability to make them feel connected to her characters. She compacts their lives in such a way that the reader feels as though they have spent a longer time with them - feeling their joys, sadness, regrets and hopes in rare depth.
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nathanreads, January 7, 2009 (view all comments by nathanreads)
It is clear, reading this book, that Lahiri has been reading a lot of Alice Munro. This book embraces the freedom Munro's later books embrace. She is more comfortable now with "telling," with long expository stretches that help the scenes pay off more strongly, and which ground the work in the historical imperatives that amplify its power to illuminate the lives of these characters.
I look forward to what's next for Lahiri. This book is a major step forward.
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Alfred A. Knopf -
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 Sarah Kerr, The New York Review of Books,
"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)
by Library Journal,
"The author's ability to flesh out completely even minor characters...will keep readers invested in the work until its heartbreaking conclusion."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"An eye for detail, ear for dialogue and command of family dynamics distinguish this uncommonly rich collection."
"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."
by Chicago Sun-Times,
"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."
by Michiko Kakutani, New York Times,
"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."
by Los Angeles Times,
"[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."
by Boston Globe,
"[E]ight beautifully crafted stories that reaffirm [Lahiri's] status as one of this country's most accomplished and graceful young writers."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"These stories are often doleful and elegiac, but Unaccustomed Earth is cause for celebration: It showcases a considerable talent in full bloom."
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.
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