Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Lahiri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lahiri. Show all posts

09 July, 2011

Jhumpa Lahiri, "Unaccustomed Earth"

"Unaccustomed Earth" is the title story of Lahiri's second collection. Ruma's mother has been dead a few months and her father is going to visit Ruma, Adam, and young son in their new home in Seattle. Adam is away on a business trip and Lahiri gradually shows Ruma coming to love and understand her father with whom she'd never been particularly close. The story slowly, but deliciously, unravels with the viewpoint shifting between Ruma and her father. Her father also realizes how much he loves his daughter, his grandson and the new woman in his life and somewhat freed when he finally admits to himself but not Ruma that "his wife had been overly demanding, unwilling to appreciate the life he'd worked hard to provide."

I especially enjoy the suspense in this story even though it is not a mystery or a whodunit but I was enthralled with the evenly paced familial emotional revelations of both daughter and father.

The story is long at 56 pages and is written in past tense, third-person POV shifting in 13 sections.

Wikipedia bio
Random House web page
reading guide from Random House