Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Unaccustomed Earth

Jhumpa Lahiri

The clash of cultures, new lives versus old traditions and the family relationships of immigrants are at the heart of this collection of short stories. Inter-racial marriages raise questions and protests within the families but, for once, we are hearing the Asian side. We may pity Usha as her mother controls her life; feel sorry for or angry with Sang because she can't see the obvious and applaud Hema for living her own life and making her own choices. We feel their doubts, their anger and their confusion as we tread hesitantly through their lives.

Extract

Sudha had waited until college to disobey her parents. Before then she had lived according to their expectations, her persona scholarly, her social life limited to other demure girls in her class, if only to ensure that one day she would be set free.

Parallels
  • If Today be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar
  • The Immigrant by Manju Kapur
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Violence