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BookBrowse Reviews Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

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Whereabouts

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri X
Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2021, 176 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 29, 2022, 176 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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A spare, contemplative work of fiction about the limitations of existence.

Jhumpa Lahiri's Whereabouts has seen numerous comparisons to Second Place by Rachel Cusk. These two short novels, with American release dates a week apart, are both narrated from the point of view of an unnamed middle-aged woman reflecting on her life circumstances. But while Cusk's story is a fraught, frenzied work about a character bemoaning her lack of freedom, Lahiri's book is lower-key in presentation: It follows a melancholic professor living in a (presumably Italian) city, a solitary person looking in on the lives of others, wandering on the fringes of family and relationships.

As the title suggests, a sense of place is a major theme; Whereabouts unfolds in vignette-style chapters labeled by where they occur — ranging from the straightforward "On the Street" and "At the Trattoria" to the more conceptual "In My Head" and "In August." Each chapter appears as a closed system...

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