Unaccustomed earth [stories]

Jhumpa Lahiri

Sound recording - 2008

Eight dazzling stories that take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand as they explore the secrets at the heart of family life.

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FICTION ON DISC/Lahiri, Jhumpa
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION ON DISC/Lahiri, Jhumpa Checked In
Westminster, Md. : Books on Tape p2008.
Library ed
Item Description
Subtitle from container.
Unabridged recording of the book published in 2008.
Physical Description
8 compact discs (10 hrs., 8 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Main Author
Jhumpa Lahiri (-)
Other Authors
Sarita Choudhury (-), Ajay Naidu
  • Unaccustomed earth
  • Hell-heaven
  • A choice of accommodations
  • Only goodness
  • Nobody's business
  • Hema and Kaushik
  • Once in a lifetime
  • Year's end
  • Going ashore.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Lahiri's collection of short stories spans the globe from India to Seattle, shedding light on family secrets, cultural values, and love affairs while managing to find beauty in life. Choudhury and Naidu alternate reading throughout the stories, maintaining a similarly gentle pace and relaxed tone, which gives a cohesive feel to the production. The dual narration of the deep male and soft female voice offers variety and seemingly different points of view. Scattered throughout are authentic Indian phrases and names, all of which flow naturally in a slight Indian accent. This powerful audio—which melds Indian and Western cultures—will move listeners, touching the human spirit. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

All eight of the longish stories in Lahiri's third book deal with various male/female relationships—father/daughter, husband/wife, brother/sister, roommates, step-family, childhood friends—in the context of the immigrant experience. Specifically, Lahiri examines the gulf between first- and second-generation Bengali immigrants—the expectations, often unmet, about, for instance, dress, achievement, and marriage. Lahiri's strengths are her characterizations and knack for universalizing the particular. The last three stories feature characters who meet as children, when Hema's parents share their house with Kaushik's family. Kaushik finds himself sharing more than just his house when, after his mother's death (a recurring theme), his father remarries a woman with two younger daughters. Sarita Choudhury and Ajay Naidu alternate reading the female and male voices, with accents waxing and waning as the story demands. Lahiri won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1999 collection The Namesake. Unaccustomed Earth earned a front-page review in the New York Times Book Review and debuted at the top of the best sellers list, making it a no-brainer for all library collections.—John Hiett, Iowa City P.L. [Page 118]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

From the internationally bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a superbly crafted new work of fiction: eight stories that take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand.In the stunning title story, Ruma, a young mother in a new city, is visited by her father, who carefully tends the earth of her garden, where he and his grandson form a special bond. But he’s harboring a secret from his daughter, a love affair he’s keeping all to himself. In “A Choice of Accommodations,” a husband’s attempt to turn an old friend’s wedding into a romantic getaway weekend with his wife takes a dark, revealing turn as the party lasts deep into the night. In “Only Goodness,” a sister eager to give her younger brother the perfect childhood she never had is overwhelmed by guilt, anguish, and anger when his alcoholism threatens her family. And in “Hema and Kaushik,” a trio of linked stories–a luminous, intensely compelling elegy of life, death, love, and fate–we follow the lives of a girl and boy who, one winter, share a house in Massachusetts. They travel from innocence to experience on separate, sometimes painful paths, until destiny brings them together again years later in Rome.