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Whereabouts: A Novel de Jhumpa Lahiri
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Whereabouts: A Novel (2018 original; edició 2021)

de Jhumpa Lahiri (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1328159,258 (3.66)4
Membre:Alan.M
Títol:Whereabouts: A Novel
Autors:Jhumpa Lahiri (Autor)
Informació:Knopf Publishing Group (2021), 176 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Per llegir
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Whereabouts de Jhumpa Lahiri (2018)

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This book was just what I needed! I was looking for a thoughtful book with interconnected chapters rather than a book with a storyline. Told in first person, by an unnamed middle-aged woman, living in an unnamed European city, it is recollections of her daily life. The narrator is more of a melancholy person that a cheerful person. The 46 short chapters are her observations of people she meets. It is a sad book but Lahari’s prose is so elegant and so subtle the reader is immersed in this woman’s life. Normally, I don’t like books with unnamed narrators, but this narrator could be any of us. ( )
  brangwinn | Apr 27, 2021 |
Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri gives us the middle-aged version of the recently popular plotless novels about angsty women (see Normal People, Weather, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, etc.). We dwell in the world of a 40-something, nameless main character in a nameless town in Italy where she works, has friends and relationships, but cannot move on from her difficult childhood. Lahiri metes out information in short, mundane first-person segments of life with titles like “At the Station”, “At Dinner”, etc. with her precise but descriptive language. Lahiri wrote Whereabouts in Italian and translated it into English herself, and there is a feeling that every word in this sparse book was carefully plotted and chosen. None of this is to say that I did not enjoy Whereabouts — I did — Lahiri’s writing makes this woman’s musing and her descriptive settings quite enjoyable for the wisely brief 150ish pages of the book. Would I have liked some plot and just more from Lahiri? Yes, but I will take what I can get, and I think literary readers and her fans will agree. ( )
  Hccpsk | Apr 3, 2021 |
In Whereabouts, we spend about a year in the life of an unnamed, middle-aged woman living in a large Italian city, also unnamed. Told in a series of 46 very short vignettes, the novella draws the portrait of a person thoroughly committed to preserving her solitude. She is unmarried, apparently by choice, and all of her relationships—friends, lovers past and present, parents, professional colleagues at the university where she works—have a distinct fleeting quality to them, as if getting involved with people beyond a cursory level is something she either cannot or prefers not to do. Although we get a few hints from her upbringing that might explain her feelings, there is really no structure to the story so what we are left with is a moving, but sad, mosaic of an existence that a lot of people would consider to be very lonely.

It is worth noting that this book has a fascinating history in itself. Although born in London to Bengali parents and raised in the United States, celebrated author Jhumpa Lahiri wrote and first published this story in Italian under the title Dove Mi Trovo. What Whereabouts represents then is the English language version of that earlier work. Interestingly, Lahiri herself did the translation, which was a curious choice that begs the question why she did not write it in English to begin with. That is not an idle notion because it is really impossible for the English-speaking reader to know exactly how faithfully this new version compares to the original work. For instance—and forgive my relatively basic command of Italian here—I would have translated the book’s title to be mean something closer to “Where I Find Myself” or “Where I Am”, which conveys a far less subtle meaning than the one the author chose.

I definitely came away with a mixed impression of this work. On one hand, Lahiri is a brilliant writer who has crafted some amazing thoughts and images that added up to an affecting glimpse into the mind of a person who is at once incredibly strong and emotionally frail. Offsetting that, however, was the lack of anything resembling a plot that would have given a context to all of the angst and sorrow. As I was reading the novella, I found myself thinking of Elizabeth Hardwick’s marvelous Sleepless Nights (and even Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge), which covered similar ground in a far more compelling way. So, while there is always much to savor in Lahiri’s prose, this is not a book that compares to the best of her previous work. I only wish I could improve my Italian enough to read it in the way the author originally intended. ( )
1 vota browner56 | Mar 27, 2021 |
I read this book as an electronic advance reading copy provided by NetGalley/Edelweiss, and I have submitted my comments to the publisher via that web site.

This novella is easy to read because, even written in a different language and then translated, the author is a brilliant writer. (I wonder if she will publish this book in the original Italian version?) Each chapter, which is more like a vignette, is set in a different "whereabouts," but the protagonist never quite seems to fit anywhere. She seems uneasy with herself regardless of where she is, although she also possesses a great deal of insight. Perhaps discomfort is not the worst situation in which to find oneself? Recommended for all readers. ( )
  librarianarpita | Nov 5, 2020 |
Hoe mooi weet Lahiri te schrijven over eenvoudige en tegelijk complexe menselijke zaken. De titel van dit boek mag een verwijzing zijn naar haar eigen leven (zie mijn bespreking van haar "Met Andere Woorden"). Maar evenzeer kan je dit boek lezen binnen een existentieel perspectief. De vele korte hoofdstukjes lijken eerst wat oppervlakkig maar omvatten veel diepgang. Ze creëren zowel afstand als nabijheid in het lezen, en gaan zowel over onze menselijke verbondenheid als onze fundamentele eenzaamheid in het leven. Je krijgt als lezer misschien wel de indruk dat het allemaal iets meer had mogen zijn. Maar tegelijk kan de vraag gesteld worden of het leven van een mens veel meer is dan enkele fragmenten die op zich weinig sporen nalaten maar die wij zelf graag zoveel betekenis geven. Het leuke aan de manier waarop dit boek werd geschreven is dat je als lezer niet per se mee hoeft te gaan in diepgaande overpeinzingen. Het kan ook gewoon een korte, aangename kennismaking zijn met een personage dat je na het dichtslaan van het boek ook weer meteen kan loslaten. ( )
1 vota rvdm61 | Nov 9, 2019 |
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