This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection, the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.
The Lowlands is a story about life and all that it entails; love, loss, hope, despair, loyalty, betrayal – all the big stuff plus the specifics and details, the characters and settings, that make it compelling and authentic.
It is also one of the few books so well written the reader feels he is experiencing the story rather than reading it.
Two brothers, born only 15 months apart, grow up in Calcutta. One takes an opportunity to further his education in America, one chooses a radical route in an attempt to improve conditions for his countrymen at home. Though only one survives beyond his mid-twenties, their lives remain linked by birth, circumstance and a woman.
In this compelling story, author Jhumpa Lahiri shows that despite success and material wealth, what is really important, what really shapes our lives, is where we begin, the relationships we forge with family, and the decisions we make early in life. These are the things that are manifested in our final destiny and then resonate for generations to come.
Lahiri tells of the brutality and corruption of the third world experience and the lure of opportunity and security western countries offer. But it does not come without a price – a feeling of displacement, of guilt, of not belonging that many new immigrants feel, and are made to feel, for decades after establishing and proofing themselves in a new country.
This is a novel of today and more so of tomorrow, a hopeful story of the blending of cultures, nationalities, religions and philosophies, both personal and political, toward a new future.