The Lowland

Editorial reviews

The Lowland

The Lowland is a novel about the rashness of youth, as well as the hesitation and regret that can make a long life not worth living.

Kirkus Reviews : The Lowland (October 02, 2013)

Though Lahiri has previously earned greater renown for her short stories, this masterful novel deserves to attract an even wider readership.

"The Lowland" spans decades but never feels rushed or spread thin. Lahiri entrances us with her strong, incantatory storyteller's voice and vibrant images.

With The Lowland, Lahiri gives us a provoking and affecting meditation on family and loss, the idealism of youth and how it can be volatile, manipulated and ultimately crushed.

This is a contemporary novel only in the sense that it knows the brisk economy of the screenplay, or the efficient design of an Apple product.

Lahiri shies from tackling the necessary tangles and messes of a novel. It is that clinical short-story writer's genius, a sort of die-hard cleanliness and thoroughness, that dooms this novel.

If parts of “The Lowland” feel static, it’s also true that Lahiri can accelerate the passage of time in moments of terror with mesmerizing effect.

Lahiri is an accomplished writer and though I felt, at times, disappointed, in the end I was sure that there is an important truth here — that life often denies us understanding, and sometimes all there is to hold on to is our ability to endure.

Although the dramatic political change that happens in the background of the story provides a bit of a hook, Lahiri doesn’t delve into it, so the most interesting part of The Lowland remains frustratingly vague.

This ungainly novel reminds us of Ms. Lahiri’s copious talents as a writer, however imperfectly they are employed here.

This novel is a testament to Jhumpa Lahiri’s accolades and there is no doubt in my mind that she’ll achieve even more success when everyone reads this outstanding novel.