To read a story by Jhumpa Lahiri is to slip effortlessly
into the life of another, to immerse yourself in that life
as wholly and as seamlessly as if you've just slid into a
sun-warmed pond. Each of the stories in Unaccustomed
Earth excels at almost imperceptibly presenting a
character in full, poised at a moment of high importance in
her life. Lahiri switches between narrating the present and
filling in the back-story, slowly accreting the heft and
solidity of a life.
Her characters are mostly women who stand at the fulcrum between their parents' immigrant generation and their children's untroubled generation. Their parents are, uniformly, prosperous Bengalis who moved to the Boston suburbs in the 1970s, the women continuing to wear saris and cook luchis while the men work at MIT and ...
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