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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a superbly crafted new work of fiction: eight stories that take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand. In the stunning title story, Ruma, a young mother in a new city, is visited by her father, who carefully tends the earth of her garden, where he and his grandson form a special bond. But he's harboring a secret from his daughter, a love affair he's keeping all to himself.
In "A Choice of Accommodations", a husband's attempt to turn an old friend's wedding into a romantic getaway weekend with his wife takes a dark, revealing turn as the party lasts deep into the night.
In "Only Goodness", a sister eager to give her younger brother the perfect childhood she never had is overwhelmed by guilt, anguish, and anger when his alcoholism threatens her family.
And in "Hema and Kaushik" - a trio of linked stories and a luminous, intensely compelling elegy of life, death, love, and fate - we follow the lives of a girl and boy who, one winter, share a house in Massachusetts. They travel from innocence to experience on separate, sometimes painful paths, until destiny brings them together again years later in Rome.
©2008 Jhumpa Lahiri (P)2008 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Lahiri's enormous gifts as a storyteller are on full display in this collection: the gorgeous, effortless prose; the characters haunted by regret, isolation, loss, and tragedies big and small; and most of all, a quiet, emerging sense of humanity." (Khaled Hosseini)"The author's ability to flesh out completely even minor characters in every story...is what will keep readers invested in the work until its heartbreaking conclusion." ( Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Eileen on 11-21-08

Simply Beautiful

I'm a huge fan of Lahiri's work - her writing is always emotional, and Unaccustomed Earth is no exception. The characters in this book are wonderful - I really enjoyed getting to know them, and I found myself looking forward to my drives so I could spend more time with them. The narration is spot on, and this books lends itself to audio well due to the emotions that run through the stories. Stellar writing, a book you can really lose yourself in.

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40 of 40 people found this review helpful


By Everett Leiter on 03-10-09

My favorite recent book

5 stars are not enough for this collection of short stories, whose effect is hard for me to describe. The landscape of these stories is the middle class life of first generation Americans (adolescents and adults) and their Bengali parents. The events in their lives seem strikingly ordinary: no different from those that any of us may have experienced. And yet, the way that Lahiri conveys the characters' pleasures, desires for human connection, losses, secrets, and nostalgia are the real subject of these stories. My favorite stories were the three inter-related tales centering on Hema and Kaushik. They know each other as children; have a brief, but distant re-acquaintance as adolescents; and re-connect with a profound love as adults. You might want to listen to this book in private. Like me, you might occasionally find your eyes getting moist as you listen. Superb narration, by the way.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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