By Vidya Pradhan
Reading a short story is like watching a compartment in a passing train or looking a set of pictures in an album; you get just a snapshot of a larger narrative and if done well, you get a real sense of time and place and character. In Unaccustomed Earth, a collection of short stories and novellas, Jhumpa Lahiri returns to the metier that won her the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000.
While Indians may lay claim to this celebrity, Ms. Lahiri considers herself an American, having been raised here in the US since the age of 3. The Indian American characters in her story are as assimilated; there is only a mild cultural hangover that comes with having grown up in a semi-Indian home environment. Most of her characters are married to Caucasians( I was tempted to re-title the book "Mixed Marriages"!) and are comfortable in their American skins. Continue reading