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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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The Lowland

The Lowland - Jhumpa Lahiri

I've been curious about Jhumpa Lahiri for some time, but the urgency with which I desired to read her works had been dulled repeatedly by negative comments. Often, I'd hear a fantastic review of one of her books, only to be followed by an extremely negative one. Overrated was the word I have heard most often. Though I was still curious, I put her off repeatedly. Hoping to read all the selections in this year's Man Booker Prize shortlist forced me to finally give Lahiri a try. Thank you, Man Booker judges, for prompting me to finally read the works of a wonderful writer.


The Lowland is a fabulous family drama. Lahiri writes with a beauty and intimacy that I soaked up. The story made several turns and surprise stops that I hadn't expected, and this kept me intrigued. The Lowland isn't one of those books I will likely always remember and cherish, but while reading it, I was so absorbed that I nearly forgot I was reading a book.


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.