Several well-known novelists recently put out much-anticipated but not too lengthy titles, and they’ve made their way to The Indy‘s office. The books have made their way in, that is, not the novelists, though a visit from John Updike, Jhumpa Lahiri, Toni Morrison, or Tracy Chevalier would be most welcome. For now, though, we’ll have to settle for the second best thing: appearances in prose form. But considering how much of themselves these authors put into their highly distinctive writing styles and approaches to their subject matter, it’s not a very distant second.
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Having your novel adapted into a well-received feature film must be a double-edged sword: The mega-medium that is film attracts readers who might not have sought out your work otherwise, but it trains hundreds of thousands more eyes on your next work, all waiting to see if it can possibly measure up. Jhumpa Lahiri, author of bestseller The Namesake, has found herself in just that tricky position while working on Unaccustomed Earth. The new book, which assumes a shape midway between that of the novel that preceded it and the short story collection that preceded the novel, collects eight tales that can be read individually but that connect both thematically and in certain elements of content. Having discovered in The Namesake her talent for conveying the Indian immigrant’s rocky American assimilation experience, Lahiri has since refined that skill, and wields it with an even sharper eye for authentic detail this time around.