National Book Award Finalist
Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death.
Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.
But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.
Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.
This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author returns with her second novel, a lyrical, moving tale of familial bonds. Brothers Udayan and Subhash are close enough to almost be extensions of one other, even though they're polar opposites. Fiery Udayan is a political activist in the brothers’ native Calcutta, while Subhash pursues a quiet, scholarly life in New England. When Udayan becomes involved with a Maoist movement, devastating consequences reverberate across generations and borders. Lahiri's prose is exquisite, and she tells a story of astonishing depth that touches on sweeping themes—love, grief, marriage, and parenthood—while succeeding in crafting characters who still feel familiar and authentic.
Lahiri's (The Namesake) haunting second novel crosses generations, oceans, and the chasms that despair creates within families. Subhash and Udayan are brothers, 15 months apart, born in Calcutta in the years just before Indian independence and the country's partition. As children, they are inseparable: Subhash is the elder, and the careful and reserved one; Udayan is more willful and wild. When Subhash moves to the U.S. for graduate school in the late 1960s, he has a hard time keeping track of Udayan's involvement in the increasingly violent Communist uprising taking place throughout West Bengal. The only person who will eventually be able to tell Subhash, if not quite explain, what happened to his brother is Gauri, Udayan's love-match wife, of whom the brothers' parents do not approve. Forced by circumstances, Gauri and Subhash form their own relationship, one both intimate and distant, which will determine much of the rest of their adult lives. Lahiri's skill is reflected not only in her restrained and lyric prose, but also in her moving forward chronological time while simultaneously unfolding memory, which does not fade in spite of the years. A formidable and beautiful book. 350,000-copy announced first printing.
Long Story, Lovely Prose
As always, this author tells a story in her lovely, imagistic style. The story was totally interesting, but a little predictable. I was ready when the end came.
Beautiful and heartbreaking
A very touching story about life and family. Mundane in its telling, but rich in detail and emotions. I found myself reading non-stop. The background on India, its culture and politics is fantastic and although the novel is a bit sad, in the end you are left feeling a certain reward and happiness for getting to read such a special narrative. A must-read in my opinion.
Beautifully written story of ordinary lives that wants you to keep reading even after the last page has been turned !