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9780307265746

The Lowland

Lahiri, Jhumpa Author

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National Book Award Finalist

Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death.
 
Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up.  But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.

Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.

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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2013: But for its lyrical, evocative scenes of life in the Calcutta neighborhood in which her heroes grow up, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland could be set anywhere, in almost any time. At the center of this heartbreaking story are two very different brothers. Udayan, the younger by 15 months, is passionate, idealistic and ripe for involvement in the political rebellion in 1960s India (not all that different from his American counterparts of the same era.) Subhash is the “good brother,” the parent-pleaser, who goes off to study and teach in America. But when Udayan, inevitably, ends up a victim of his self-made political violence, Subhash steps in and marries his dead brother’s pregnant wife. His is the proverbial good deed that will never go unpunished; Subhash soon becomes a victim of his own goodness. As always, Lahiri’s prose is lyrical and rich and her story is steeped in history, but in this book (more perhaps than The Namesake, her other novel) the issues raised are more universal and the plot more linear. Competitive siblings, parental love, commitment to belief and family, these are the topics one of our most brilliant writers addresses in what is at once her most accessible, and most profound, book yet. --Sara Nelson

About the Author:

Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of three previous works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake , and, most recently, Unaccustomed Earth. A recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, a PEN/Hemingway Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2012.

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Book Description Knopf, 2013. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "When you hear a novel features a ''twist,'' you might imagine a big reveal. Jhumpa Lahiri is a master of dramatic turns, but not in the conventional sense. She lets tension build slowly until something snaps. What she twists is you . . . In The Lowland, pressure grows [and] every character''s actions are up for debate. The Lowland is about how history is just the same mistakes, made by different generations. But it''s also about how time can trick you into believing that change is possible. Lahiri plays with that [idea] brilliantly, devoting pages to fleeting moments, only to deliver the book''s most life-shattering event in a telegram just seven words long. The Lowland offers new revelations right up to the last page. Some say that a twist is most effective when the reader figures it out a split second before the author reveals it. But Lahiri shows that a twist can be even more devastating when you''ve been afraid that it might happen all along. Grade: A." --Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly "Gorgeous . . . The painful partitioning of a great country is echoed in the life of one family in Lahiri''s novel of love''s tragic missteps and the sustained devastation of personal independence. The Lowland ''s beating heart is the relationship between two devoted brothers . . . Lahiri''s beautifully wrought characters make decisions that isolate them inside their haunted thoughts." --Susanna Sonnenberg, More "Leave it to Lahiri to create yet another novel that''s as transporting and educational as it is beautiful and emotive. The Lowland explores the bonds of love, family, and obligation against backdrops from the radical Naxalite movement of 1960s Calcutta to the tidal shores of collegiate Rhode Island . . . A writer of Lahiri''s caliber is always greeted with fanfare, but The Lowland is among the biggest events of the season." -- Elle "Pulitzer Prize-winner Lahiri''s unparalleled ability to transform the smallest moments into whole lives pinnacles in this extraordinary story of two brothers coming of age in the political tumult of 1960s India. . . . Lahiri is remarkable, achieving multilayered meaning in a simple act . . . [This is] is deservedly one of this year''s most anticipated books. Banal words of praise simply won''t do justice; perhaps what is needed is a three-word directive: just read it ." --Terry Hong, Library Journal (starred review) "A classic story of family and ideology at odds, love and risk closely twined. . . . Lahiri''s subject has always been the complex roots of families, cut and transplanted, trailing thwarted dreams and former selves. . . . The Lowland, her most ambitious work to date, marks the author''s shift in perspective toward that of a parent, with all its heightened vulnerability. . . . As the stripped-down sentences accrue with a kind of geologic inevitability, Lahiri renders the undertow of grief and loss . . . Novels are often elegies for things that would otherwise be lost to time. Here, over the passing decades, a sacred marshland is sold to developers; a daughter loses a mother, then becomes one. An author, at the height of her artistry, spins the globe and comes full circle." --Megan O''Grady, Vogue "I wait for Lahiri''s books as if they''re rare comets and hold them in my hands like my firstborn." --Megan Angelo, Glamour "A tale of two continents in an era of political tumult, rendered with devastating depth and clarity by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. The narrative proceeds from the simplicity of a fairy tale into a complex novel of moral ambiguity and aftershocks, with revelations that continue through decades and generations until the very last page. . . . The story of two brothers in India who are exceptionally close to each other, and yet completely different, the novel spans more than four decades in the life of [their] family, shaped and shaken by the events that have brought them together and tear them. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0307265749

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