A collection of short stories featuring Indian American protagonists.
What I love about Lahiri’s stories is that I never feel shortchanged by them. No matter how good a short story is, for the most part I always wish I were reading a novel instead. Short stories are too brief, too concise, to economic for me. I prefer to languish in my reading. Somehow, Lahiri manages to create short fiction that feels novelistic. I get lost in her stories, and never feel like they’ve ended too soon.
The second half of the book is a love story told in three parts: from the point of view of each of the lovers, and then in the third person as their love affair plays out. It’s basically a novella, yet each section offers its own unique satisfactions and pleasures. She captures love and passion so well, not to mention the (usually) inevitable heartbreak.
I’m teaching a college writing course this spring and planning to use one of Lahiri’s stories. I have no idea yet which one, because they’re all so marvelous. Her effortless prose style has beauty but no ostentation, but in her simplicity she captures so much complexity. I can’t think of anyone better from whom to learn the craft of fiction writing.