“The latest story from Jhumpa Lahiri is told gently, quietly. It’s about a woman, told in her own voice—filled with everyday commonalities that explain little and yet reveal much. The words are lovely, sad, sometimes hopeful, but often disappointed. The author has shared with us a vision of life lived by another and yet there’s something about her that is so familiar. 'Could she be me?' some will ask. 'Am I, too, that private—known only to myself?' Whether or not you follow the author’s work, you’ll treasure this small offering to life, to unknown love, to memory. It’s one to read over again many times. I know I will.”
Linda, Auntie's Bookstore
A marvelous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies--her first in nearly a decade.
*A Most Anticipated Novel of 2021 from Buzzfeed; O, The Oprah Magazine; TIME; Vulture; Vogue; LitHub; and Harper's Bazaar*
Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. Lahiri’s narrator, a woman questioning her place in the world, wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The city she calls home acts as a companion and interlocutor: traversing the streets around her house, and in parks, piazzas, museums, stores, and coffee bars, she feels less alone.
We follow her to the pool she frequents, and to the train station that leads to her mother, who is mired in her own solitude after her husband’s untimely death. Among those who appear on this woman’s path are colleagues with whom she feels ill at ease, casual acquaintances, and “him,” a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. Until one day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun’s vital heat, her perspective will abruptly change.
This is the first novel Lahiri has written in Italian and translated into English. The reader will find the qualities that make Lahiri’s work so beloved: deep intelligence and feeling, richly textured physical and emotional landscapes, and a poetics of dislocation. But Whereabouts, brimming with the impulse to cross barriers, also signals a bold shift of style and sensibility. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.