Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
I feel like I’m pretty far behind the curve reading this latest collection of Lahiri’s stories. “Unaccustomed Earth” came out during a time when I wasn’t really buying new books. I asked the people at Half Price Books to notifiy me if a copy came in and I kept telling my husband that it would be a great ‘I love you’ gift, but he never took the bait. FINALLY, a couple weeks ago, I walked into a Barnes and Nobles with a gift card and made a beeline for “Unaccustomed Earth.”
After all of that waiting and anticipation, I was a little afraid that “Unaccustomed Earth” would be a bit of a let down for me. Evidently I forgot I was dealing with Jhumpa Lahiri.
“Unaccustomed Earth” is a masterful work of storytelling, one that eclipses even the fantastic “Interpreter of Maladies.” I was extremely disappointed when I reached the end of the book and realized that there were no more stories for me to read. Like “Interpreter of Maladies,” “Unaccustomed Earth” is comprised of stories about Indian immigrants. The second half of the book actually contains what is essentially a small novel in stories. Actually, each story felt more like a novel than a short story. Most were perhaps closer to novella length and told a very complete story with much depth.
If you like high quality fiction, you will love Unaccustomed Earth.