Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Unaccustomed Earth

I've read both Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake and I loved both. This one, not as much.

This is a collection of short stories, although the last 100 pages or so is three interconnected stories. Lahiri's stories and her novel all carry a pretty consistent theme: Indian-Americans who immigrate and the effect it has on their kids and their subsequent relationships among themselves and among others. I find it interesting because I've been there. Even I know what I've been through isn't as drastic, the way parents and children react to living in a foreign land is very different. So, I certainly feel like I can relate.

I felt a little let down at the end of the stories. The whole book had a pretty melancholy feel, and I didn't like the way I felt totally dumped off at the end of a story. Mostly they were great stories and well-written, but I think I would have liked them better in a full-blown novel. It was all just a little samey for me and I feel like she's going to have to mix things up a little bit to keep me interested. If you've never read Lahiri before, read one of her other books first.

P.S. And I totally have to nit-pick on a point of bad research. She had one character who was born in England secure a passport there later in life based on her birth. However, England is not like the U.S. Just because you are born there doesn't mean you are automatically a citizen, and it has been that way since 1982.

1 comment:

Nymeth said...

I haven't read The Namesake Yet, but I loved Interpreter of Maladies. It's too bad this one didn't live up to her previous books.