The Lowland

The Lowland

A Novel

Book - 2013 | First edition
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"Two brothers bound by tragedy. A fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past. A country torn by revolution. A love that lasts long past death. An extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: the best-selling author of The Namesake and Unaccustomed Earth. 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."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307265746
0307265749
9780676979367
9780385350402
0385350406
Call Number: FICTION LAHIRI 2013
Characteristics: 339 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

If you're reading this list you're likely already a Lahiri fan and we don't need to tell you what a powerful writer this Pulitzer Prize winner is. Suffice to say her second novel, Lowland, has been called "an absolute triumph" and "her most accessible, and most profound, book yet.... Read More »

Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives--Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America--until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.

The pain of one brother's untimely death in India, carries a resounding effect on his surviving brother's existence in America.

Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives--Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America--until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.


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I didn't care for this book by Jhumpa Lahiri. I admire her work as a writer, however, this one disappointed me. I didn't like any of the characters. None of them seemed to have much personality. So much of the book was long drawn out narration. I loved her first novel, The Namesake, but this fell short for me.

s
SherriWatts
Jun 09, 2020

Pauline

s
sarpearl
Apr 19, 2019

I loved this book so much! It's a well-research tale of the consequences of grief. Every character is so well developed and portrayed. I also loved how, though the story is centered around Udayan's death, we as reader get to know him and mourn his death with his family members. A bittersweet and moving novel about how life goes on, whether we are ready for it or not.

Harriet_the_Spy Dec 12, 2016

As you read this masterful novel, you think you are learning how family secrets haunt the present. Yet at the end of the novel we discover we too have been lied to, and the weight of the past is political as much as familial. An amazing subversion of the family saga.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

The Lowland is a fabulous novel, and while there were characters, scenes, and moments that I thought could've been pared down some to allow the work to breathe, these were relatively minor. Overall, The Lowland is wonderfully paced and peopled, and the beauty of the journey is certainly worth the effort.

t
tenj
Apr 29, 2016

This book is one of those books that I could get defensive about. It's underrated and taken too literally. Give it a chance, don't compare it to The Namesake (please don't do this!), and focus on the relationships over the events.

It is so, so rich. The main theme for me is connection.

c
Calaben
Mar 24, 2016

Book club, didn't care for it

w
wyenotgo
Jan 26, 2016

I give this one two stars but only for the quality of the writing which is quiet, understated, eloquent. This is a book about loss. As a lonely foreign student, Subhash is abandoned by the older woman with whom he has established a relationship. Then without realizing it, he is victimized by the selfish actions of his brother who, having married a girl against his parents' wishes, gets himself killed and leaves his young pregnant widow as an outcast in his parents' home. That in turn destroys Subhash's relationship with his parents when he marries his brother's widow to take her away to America. His marriage is doomed from the start and after his wife's abrupt departure, even his relationship with his beloved adopted daughter drifts into nothing. The aging Subhash becomes increasingly lonely, abandoned and directionless.
The book moves slowly, with no discernible object, simply the sad, depressing story of a man who has failed, seemingly through no fault of his own.
Disappointing.

p
pokano
Dec 01, 2015

I would have given this beautifully written book 4.5 stars, feeling it was marred only by a somewhat weak ending. Subhash and Udayan are two brothers: Udayan is the revolutionary son, Subhash is the dutiful son. When Udayan dies an early death, the ramifications span two continents and 4 generations. Although most of the characters are just everyday people living everyday lives, the author makes us want to care and know more about them.

b
bluehydrangea
Nov 23, 2015

A slow read that crackles with tension, right to the end.

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JackieDaytona
May 04, 2020

JackieDaytona thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

In a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.

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