15 Jan Lahiri’s Lowland
With two lauded collections of short stories and two superb novels, Jhumpa Lahiri has a claim to being one of the very best authors writing today. Her first collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies (1999) won a string of awards that culminated in the Pulitzer prize for fiction but, more importantly, breathes unpredictable life into the page. This was followed by the novel, The Namesake (2003) that explores the concepts of cultural identity, of rootlessness, of tradition and familial expectation. The stories in Unaccustomed Earth (2008) are, if anything, decidedly longer, slower and better than those of the earlier set, over which the shadow of death seems to hover. And her most recent novel, The Lowland (2013) is a powerful, sweeping evocation of Indian and American history, that examines in intimate detail the intersection of the political and the personal. Worth discovering.