REVIEW: WHEREABOUTS BY JHUMPA LAHIRI
Nilanjana Sudeshna “Jhumpa” Lahiri was born in London and brought up in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Brought up in America by a mother who wanted to raise her children to be Indian, she learned about her Bengali heritage from an early age. With many accolades under her belt a novel by Lahiri is always hotly anticipated, and this is no different.
She makes the bright pavements, the city bridges, the shops and pools and bars as much a character of this novel as the woman. We feel a real mindful approach to her life, she slows her pace to watch a couple fighting, to take in the sight of an old woman in a waiting room; pauses to drink her coffee in a shaded square. Many of us are acquainted with this throughout this pandemic era.
Her solitude is felt, the themes of detachment, estrangement and dread all vivid, and sit with you long after you put the book down.
A rare work of fiction, Whereabouts, which was originally written in Italian and then translated by the author herself, brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.THE FOUNTAIN