Whereabouts

Jhumpa Lahiri. Knopf, $23 (176p) ISBN 978-0-593-31831-7
The latest from Pulitzer winner Lahiri (The Interpreter of Maladies) is a meditative and aching snapshot of a life in suspension. The unnamed narrator, a single, middle-aged woman, lives a quiet life in an unnamed Italian city, ambling between cafes and storefronts, dinner parties with friends, and a leisurely career as a writer and teacher. The tranquil surface of her life belies a deeper unrest: a frayed, distant relationship with her widowed mother, romantic longings projected onto unavailable friends, and constant second-guessing of the paths her life has taken. The novel is told in short vignettes introducing a new scene and characters whose relationships are fertile ground for Lahiri’s impressive powers of observation. In a museum, for instance, sunlight refracted through the glass roof “brightens and darkens the room in turns. It’s a panorama that makes me think of the sea, of swimming in a clear blue patch underwater.” Throughout, Lahiri’s poetic flourishes and spare, conversational prose are on full display. This beautifully written portrait of a life in passage captures the hopes, frustrations, and longings of solitude and remembrance. (May)
Reviewed on : 12/29/2020
Release date: 05/04/2021
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-593-39662-9
Hardcover - 160 pages - 978-0-7352-8146-2
Book - 978-0-593-31832-4
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