Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday Intro: The Lowland

East of the Tolly Club, after Deshapran Sashmal Road splits in two, there is a small mosque. A turn leads to a quiet enclave. A warren of narrow lanes and modest middle-class homes. 
Once, within this enclave, there were two ponds, oblong, side by side. Behind them was a lowland spanning a few acres. 
After the monsoon the ponds would rise so that the embankment built between them could not be seen. The lowland also filled with rain, three or four feet deep, the water remaining for a portion of the year.
The Lowland
by Jhumpa Lahiri

Without a book or audiobook in progress, I'm at loose ends. I finished a couple of novels over the holiday weekend and picked up The Lowland  at the library yesterday. The opening doesn't especially grab me, but I've enjoyed all of Lahiri's previous work. We'll see whether I decide to read this now or save it for another time when I'm not so distracted with holiday planning and preparations. Perhaps a lighter novel or mystery would be better right now. I think I'll see what the library has available for download to my kindle...

What do you think of the opening? Have you read Jhumpa Lahiri?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

51 comments:

  1. I can't tell anything by the opening, but I do SO love her work. It is on my list. I think you may be right about the distraction though. I've got Rainbow Rowell in my ears and it is suiting me perfectly!

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    1. Sandy - Maybe this is finally time for me to try Rainbow Rowell's books! I think I should save this one for after the holidays...

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  2. This is not an author I have ever read. The opening of this one provides more of a descriptive setting and doesn't really give me an idea of what the book will be about.

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    1. linda - I love Lahirir's writing, but the holidays may not be the best time to concentrate on this book.

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  3. Looooooooove Jhumpa Lahiri and can't wait to read this one. Sadly, I had a ticket to see her in conversation with Louise Erdrich--how cool would that have been???--but my aunt died and I had to go out of town for her funeral.

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    1. Amy - Wow, that would have been a fascinating conversation! Sorry to hear about your aunt.

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    2. Thanks. It was a sad funeral, and I needed to be there. But the bookstore that sponsored the event saved me a signed copy of Lowland and said the event was a big hit, and Lahiri expressed interest in returning again soon. So, who knows?

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    3. Amy - That was so thoughtful! It would be great if Lahiri returned. I keep hoping she will be a speaker for the Gifford Lecture Series in Syracuse one of these years…

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  4. I haven't read this author...I've been curious about this one. I'll be watching for your review.

    Here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - She is a wonderful writer! So far I've liked her short stories more than her novel, but I'm looking forward to reading this one… although maybe not right now.

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  5. I've this book on hold at the public library, have to wait in line. Like you, I've read all of Lahiri's works and enjoyed them. Will definitely read this one. These beginning paragraphs, though plain they may sound, are what I love about Lahiri, low-key but luring still.

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    1. Arti - Low-key but luring is a perfect description of her writing! I definitely want to read this, but may send it back to the library now and request it again after the holidays.

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  6. it's a bit of of a slow start, I'd have to read more. enjoy your book. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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    1. Thanks, Kelley. The first chapter is mostly descriptive, with characters introduced in the second.

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  7. This award winning book is one I do want to read.

    Harvee
    Book Dilettante

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    1. Harvee - I will definitely read it, but not sure now is the right time for me.

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  8. Although the opening paragraph doesn't give many clues to the story, I like the description of the area. Beautifully told. I'd keep reading.

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    1. Margot - She certainly does have a beautiful writing style.

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  9. I love Jhumpa Lahiri, but I understand what you mean about maybe needing something lighter this time of year. Lahiri's writing tends to be best read when you have more time to savor her stories. Well, that's me, anyway. :-)

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    1. Literary Feline - Same for me! I though it would take another month at least to reach the top of the hold list… not sure how I got to the top so quickly.

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  10. I have a few of Jhumpa Lahiri's books, but haven't read them yet. I'd keep reading and see what happens.

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    1. Vicki - You are in for a treat when you do get to them!

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  11. I have not read this author.... sounds intriguing!

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    1. Sheila - I especially like her short stories.

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  12. I truly enjoy her writing, but haven't read this one yet. On my list.

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    1. Midlife Roadtripper - Lahirir is one of my favorites! I know I'll read this book, but probably not right now.

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  13. I started the the audio and did not get very far - it just wasn't grabbing me. Like you, I've loved everything this author has written. I plan of trying the print version, but not right now.

    Thanks for joining us JoAnn

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    1. Diane - I see the audio version has the same narrator as Behind the Beautiful Forevers… adequate, but not one of my favorites.

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  14. I haven't read anything by this author but it sounds interesting.

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    1. Yvonne - She is an excellent writer, even though this passage doesn't tell you much.

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  15. I've only read her short stories, which I love. I read an excerpt of this in The New Yorker earlier in the year - but I thought it was another short story.

    I hate being at a bookish loose end!

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    1. Lisa - Being at bookish loose ends is the worst! I just downloaded Tell the Wolves I'm Home from the library and am instantly smitten, but not sure it will be light enough for December.

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  16. I picked this one up at the library and it didn't grab me so I put it back. Look forward to what you think.

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    1. Nise' - I'm going to wait until after the holidays to continue.

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  17. I have loved Lahiri's writing. She opens up whole new worlds for me, and crease images of family life I'll never forget.

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    1. "Creates" not "crease". For goodness' sake. :)

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    2. Bellezza - She certainly does… that's why I love her writing so much, too!

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  18. I agree it doesn't grab me but I usually like her books

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    1. Beth F - I'm sure this will get better once the characters are introduced, but I'm going to wait another month or so to read it.

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  19. nice description, but afraid it would turn heavy, though I have never read anything by her!

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  20. I liked this book, but it is very melancholy. The characters are horribly lonely and sad. I would probably wait until after the holidays to read it!

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    1. Anbolyn - I'm going to take you advice on this - thanks!

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  21. The only Lahiri book I haven't read!!! Yes I would definitely read on.

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    1. Mystica - Same here. I will read more, but after the holidays.

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  22. I've never read anything by Lahiri, but this sounds intriguing.

    I'm all about light & fluffy reads in December. There are just too many distractions. I'm reading Oxygen (Cassella) and can't put it down! I may have to pick up Healer as soon as I finish!

    Have you read Letters from Skye? I just finished listening to it and think it might be a good audio for the holiday season. It's one of those books that you can ignore for several days and not feel as if you have to go back to re-familiarize yourself with characters and plot.

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    1. Les - The older I get, the more I gravitate toward lighter reads in December! Funny you mention Letters From Skye… I just downloaded a library copy to my mother's kindle yesterday. It does sound like it would be good on audio, too, and I have two credits to use before the 18th. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  23. I haven't read anything by her yet but I've heard nothing but great things about her writing. Maybe you need something light for this time of year. Something that you can just enjoy without having to think really hard on.

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    1. Darlene - I think you're right. Ended up sending The Lowlands back to the library, but I will check it out again after the holidays. I'm listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things now and reading Tell The Wolves I'm Home. Both seem to be better choices for me right now.

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  24. I've read all of her work and I'm looking forward to reading this one! Sometimes I think you just need the timing to be right.

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    1. Melissa - Timing is everything! I expect to enjoy The Lowlands just as much as her previous books… Lahiri is such a wonderful writer.

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