Whereabouts
by Lahiri, Jhumpa






"A marvelous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies-her first in nearly a decade. Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. Thewoman at the center wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The city she calls home, an engaging backdrop to her days, acts as a confidant: the sidewalks around her house, parks, bridges, piazzas, streets, stores, coffee bars. We follow her to the pool she frequents and to the train station that sometimes leads her to her mother, mired in a desperate solitude after her father's untimely death. In addition to colleagues at work, where she never quite feels at ease, she has girl friends, guy friends, and "him," a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. But in the arc of a year, as one season gives way to the next, transformation awaits. One day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun's vital heat, her perspective will change. This is Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel she wrote in Italian and translated into English. It brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement"-





JHUMPA LAHIRI is the author of four works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland; and a work of nonfiction, In Other Words. She has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; the PEN/Hemingway Award; the PEN/Malamud Award; the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award; the Premio Gregor von Rezzori; the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; a 2014 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama; and the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia, for In altre parole.





*Starred Review* Lahiri's passion for Italian inspired her to write In Other Words (2016), her first nonfiction book, in that language; to translate two novels by Italian writer Domenico Starnone, and to write this novel in Italian, then translate it into English. The result of this process is language that seems to have been sieved through a fine mesh, each word a gleaming gemstone. Such expressive refinement perfectly embodies Lahiri's unnamed, solitary narrator, a woman in her forties who teaches at a university and lives alone in an unnamed Italian city. Declaring, "Solitude: it's become my trade," she examines her life in first person vignettes, each yoked to her whereabouts in chapters with such titles as "In the Piazza," "In My Head," and "On the Couch." There is melancholy here, but these concentrated, exquisitely detailed, poignant, and rueful episodes also pulse with the narrator's devotion to observation and her pushing through depression to live on her terms. She muses over her "unhappy origins" and recounts her disappointing love life, but she also exalts in her lively neighborhood, in the country beneath skies as moody as she is, and by the tempestuous sea, all while recording her stealthy battle against her tendency to burrow into her shell. With a painterly interplay of light and shadows, Lahiri creates an incisive and captivating evocation of the nature and nexus of place and self.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Lahiri's acclaim and literary intrepidness will lure fiction lovers to her first novel since The Lowland (2013), a Man Booker finalist. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.






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