The Lowland

Finalist, National Book Awards 2013 for Fiction

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri book cover
ISBN 9780307265746
Alfred A. Knopf/Random House
Jhumpa Lahiri author photo
Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Interpreter of Maladies. Her books include The NamesakeUnaccustomed Earth, National Book Award Finalist The Lowland, and, most recently, In Other Words, an exploration of language and identity. More about this author >

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Two brothers bound by tragedy. A fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past. A country torn by revolution. A love that lasts long past death. An extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: the best-selling author of The Namesake and Unaccustomed Earth.

Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.

Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.

Judges Citation

Two Indian boys sneak over the wall of a club for the rich. It seems a mere prank; but the differences in how each of the boys reacts to that wall play out over generations and across continents. Accumulating weight with each page, The Lowland not only depicts with sharp-eyed care the habits of mind that add up to a culture, but traces with consummate patience the way the historical becomes the personal.

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