Unaccustomed Earth

A few pages through the book and one can feel Lahiri’s style of story telling surging forth. Simple yet classic literary fiction. Casual narration that carries tremendous weight when you ponder upon the latent meaning it encompasses. The collection of stories have a common thread – the relationships, emotions and experiences of first generation Bengali immigrants and their parents who are torn apart between nations.

Each of the stories appears seemingly simple but has profound implications, touching upon sensitive issues, providing ample food for thought for the readers. Characterizations have been well established and the narrative keeps the readers engaged throughout the book. It has also explored relationships in a delicate, interesting manner making them appear simple yet paradoxically complex.

My personal favorite stories were ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ and the ‘Hema-Kaushik’ trilogy. The former story brings out the delicate relationship between a father and daughter, subtly portrays the bond between a grandfather and his grandson and ends on an ironic yet poignant note. The ‘Hema-Kaushik’ trilogy was very well presented and the three parts were seamless and a wonderful way to end the book.

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