As is now the case with every Jhumpa Lahiri novel and short story, the collection of stories in Unaccustomed Earth too bring out the identity crisis of immigrants quite well.
Each story in the book takes us through the intricacies and everyday lives of Bengalis settled in the US, struggling to give up their Indian roots, and adjusting or ultimately getting used to the USA (or immigrant) life.
The characters in each story are a mix of locals and immigrants from all across the world, each trying to come to terms with the ‘other’ in their everyday lives. From relationships between flatmates, to relationships developing and growing merely because of the common ‘Bengali’ root, Lahiri’s stories in Unaccustomed Earth are at once empathetic and insightful.
My personal favourite from the collection was the one titled ‘Only Goodness’ because it highlights the sibling relationship in a way which all of us can relate to, whether we’re close to our siblings and more so if we share a shaky relationship with them.
The book is divided into two parts where the second part is something unique(which at least I have never come across)
It’s a three part short story collection, but all together they make a single story, each one told with a different PoV (meaning point of view)
Those who feel Jhumpa sticks to only one form of writing, touching only diaspora, that too specifically only Bengali community, might see this as something they’ve already read and may even find it boring. But for those who enjoy and appreciate her just for this, will love it.
In short a must read for her fans, but something to avoid for those who are looking for something new from her.