Beginning in America, and spilling back over memories and generations to India, Unaccustomed Earth follows new lives forged in the wake of loss. These are stories in which deeply sympathetic characters reach pivotal moments in their frayed relationships and are forced to navigate their way in unfamiliar landscapes. In the title story the death of a mother leaves a space neither daughter nor husband knows how to fill. In 'Only Goodness' a younger brother's spiralling alcoholism threatens to destroy his loyal sister's family. And in a trio of linked stories we follow the lives of a girl and boy who, one memorable winter, share a house in suburban Massachusetts. They travel from innocence to experience on separate, sometimes painful paths, until they are brought together years later in a chance meeting in Rome. With moving compassion Lahiri traces a series of transformations: weariness into hope, secrets into sacrifices, and grief into unforeseen love. Eight luminous stories - longer and richer than any she has yet written - explore the heart of family life and the immigrant experience, taking us from America to Europe, India and Thailand.
Infused with eloquent warmth and lyrical simplicity, Unaccustomed Earth confirms Jhumpa Lahiri's status as a storyteller of unrivalled empathy.