Garp will have to wait a while. …
Picked up ‘Unaccustomed Earth’, for company on a long flight. Was very apprehensive. I loved ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ and never read ‘The Namesake’, though I liked the film. And I was not exactly in the mood for a weighing down immigration story.
I was excited to find out that it was a collection of short stories. Those are perfect for a train or a flight, especially for slow readers like me. And a quick glance into the first story suggested that it was set in Seattle – not the repetitive Boston. Great…I was sold! Paid for it and boarded the flight.
The first story was ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ – Title track. Strangely, the emotions were very much in the accustomed territory for me. Then again, I think anybody who reads it will feel that way. As it is always the case with Jhumpa, the english was dumbed down, but the effect was piercing. I finished the 60 page story in one shot and realized that the plane was still on the tarmac.
Tried to move over to the next story. After all, there were another 3 hours to kill. The next story was set in Boston and it seemed like a lighter one. I closed the book. Decided that I would rather savour the hangover from the first one for the rest of the weekend.
Later that night, someone asked me what I thought of the book. I said ‘it makes you wanna take the next flight to boston, meet Jhumpa and hug her for 2 full minutes’.