WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

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Jhumpa Lahiri: "The Lowland"

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is known for her stories about the immigrant experience. But her latest novel is firmly shaped by the history and politics of post-colonial India. It’s an intimate story of two brothers with opposing personalities: one joins a radical, Maoist group fighting for the rights of the poor, while the other emigrates to America, leaving his family behind. When tragedy strikes, it sets in motion events that unfold over time and place and across generations. A new novel from Jhumpa Lahiri about love and sacrifice, and the true story that inspired the book.

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When does an immigrant not feel like one anymore? Jhumpa Lahiri, best-selling author of "The Namesake" and "Unaccustomed Earth," often writes about the immigrant experience in her novels. "I imagine that one is always conscious of the place left behind," she said. Raised in Rhode Island to Indian parents, Lahiri said she will never feel fully American or fully Indian. But she said the process turns a corner with the third generation. Her two sons share a multiethnic heritage: their father is Guatemalan, and the family has lived in New York City and Italy. "I think it's important to say, 'I am from a place.' Though it has aided me, I imagine, as a writer to exist in the margins, as a person, it has been difficult. It has caused me a great deal of confusion."

Trailer For "The Lowland"

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from "The Lowland" by Jhumpa Lahiri. Copyright © 2013 by Jhumpa Lahiri. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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