19 May, 2021

Whereabouts By Jhumpa Lahiri | Book Review and Free ebook download

Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. The woman at the center wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The city she calls home, an engaging backdrop to her days acts as a confidant: the sidewalks around her house, parks, bridges, piazzas, streets, stores, coffee bars. We follow her to the pool she frequents and to the train station that sometimes leads her to her mother, mired in a desperate solitude after her father's untimely death. In addition to colleagues at work, where she never quite feels at ease, she has girlfriends, guy friends, and "him," a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. But in the arc of a year, as one season gives way to the next, transformation awaits. One day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun's vital heat, her perspective will change. This is the first novel she has written in Italian and translated into English. It brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.



This evening as I read in bed I hear the roar of cars that speed down the road below my apartment. And the fact of their passing makes me aware of my own stillness. I can only fall asleep when I hear them. And then I wake up in the middle of the night, always at the same time, it's the absolute silence that interrupts my sleep."

Lahiri doesn't disappoint with her yet another much-awaited novel (more like a novella), which touches upon details of mundane life in such relatable ways that you can't put this short book down without devouring every word and sentence and chapter, and then reflect over your own life and, perhaps, look at it from a different or a fresher perspective.

Even while reading it for the first time, I already knew I would have to come back revisit it again. Just for the tone that it sets for me and the calm, it brings over me.




Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of four works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and, most recently, The Lowland. 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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