An Unaccustomed Earth is a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. Each story is connected through a shared culture and the hardships of family. From the young families trying to find their identity within a new culture to the people just struggling to find out who they are within their families.
Let me just say I am a very big fan of Jhumpa’s work. The Interpreter of Maladies is one of my all time favorite books. This book however, fell flat. Perhaps because it is another short story collection, it caused me to compare it with it’s predecessor or if it was just that there were a number of characters in these stories that I just flat out didn’t like.
There were several stories that I did like, such as the title short story “Unaccustomed Earth” about a father and daughter navigating their new roles in each others lives. Her writing is just as beautiful as it has been in previous works.
What I didn’t like. There were a number of characters that were just unrelatable and very unlikeable. Likewise there were stories that where the central conflicts felt forced or they just felt flat. Sometimes I just wanted to shake the book and yell “Why are you mad about this?”
Unfortunately the book felt much like a combination of stories that just weren’t good enough to make it into Interpreter of Maladies.