Book review – Unaccustomed Earth

This book is another classic Jhumpa Lahiri.

Simple stories that touch your heart. You get involved with the characters from page one.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. The stories capture the dilemmas and problems faced by people living in a foreign country, but who still long for their roots.

A poignant look at the clash of gen-next ABCDs and their nostalgic parents…

In one such story a daughter feels that her parents’ yearning for India is like a disease, which she has to ease! (I don’t remember the exact words, but this is the gist)

I can only add more accolades to this book. But whatever I say will only be variations of all that has already been said.

But why does Lahiri’s stories ooze sorrow? There’s no such thing as ‘feel-good’ read here.

Though I loved reading the book and flew from one story to another in record time, I closed the book with a heavy heart. The characters stayed with me for a very long time…

Hats off..



  1. maami said,

    May 11, 2008 at 7:13 am

    I find Lahiri and Amit Chaudhuri, the two authors writing in English, who have absorbed the languidness, woefulness, silences – characteristic Bengali melancholia- into their writing.

    Yes, melancholia – that’s the word I was searching for! I haven’t read Amit Chaudhuri. I shall get a book soon! Thanx! Have you read Amitav Gosh?

  2. Pradeep said,

    May 11, 2008 at 7:15 am

    I’ve read only one Lahiri book so far – “Interpreter of Maladies” and I loved it.
    The theme you’ve mentioned makes it sound interesting. Got to read this one.

    PS: There’s no Moore market here. 😦 So, Amazon Zindabad! 🙂

    There’s no Moore Market now in Chennai too!!! (Not that I know of!) I shop for books in Odyssey!!
    You haven’t read ‘Namesake’ by Lahiri? That’s an awesome book too. But for the first time, I liked the movie better. Superb movie with amazing cast! Don’t miss it!!

  3. Pradeep said,

    May 12, 2008 at 4:47 am

    I thought there was one right next to the central railway station?
    I still remember – when I was bargaining for “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand, the shopkeeper said “latest book sir, vera engeyum kidaikaadhu”. lol 🙂

    To my knowledge, Moore Market was either burnt down or demolished 20 years ago… Maami might throw some light on that… Now I hear a horrendous structure with lot of small shops stands in the place of Moore Market… Sad..

  4. Pradeep said,

    May 12, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    I watched “The Namesake” last night, on your recommendation and I wasn’t disappointed. Very well made, indeed!

    PS: Totally off topic – does anybody know where I can get the DVD of “Hyderabad Blues”? I ordered on Amazon and got only “Hyderabad Blues-2”.
    PPS: I know a lot of my friends who badly want to watch HB. They are open to buying a DVD from Amazon/elsewhere, but simply can’t find it. How can such a good movie be so poorly marketed/supplied?

    Yeah, that was a great movie! Like Maami said, the second part was not so good. But his Bollywood calling is soo hilarious! A western take on our own hindi movies. Loved Om Puri in that!
    Can you download these movies online? I’m sure there are sites… Check it out. Otherwise, you can always hunt for these in our Chennai when you come down next time!

  5. maami said,

    May 12, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    You can get it from me if you ever come to India. I have two, no three copies of it. When it first came out Paddu and I fell in love with Kukkunoor. part 2 is wokay wokay only.
    @Paddu:I am a fan of Amitav Ghosh, calcutta Chromosome, Hungry Tide, glass palace ( i think you’l like the last). superb writer.

    Yes Maami, I loved Amitav Gosh too. I haven’t read Calcutta Chromosome, but I’ve read the other two. Awesome books!!

  6. Pradeep said,

    May 13, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Mikka nandri. Borrowing your HB DVD would definitely be on my agenda when I visit India. 🙂

    I’ve searched every movie site I know. The closest I’ve reached is “Hyderabad Nawabs” 😦
    “Rockford” is another good movie of his.

  7. Aditi said,

    July 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    i know i am pretty late to leave a comment ..but never mind

    unaccustomed earth is so brilliantly written , keep you completely gripped

    so true…

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