The Lowland

Booker_Conversations

2013 Booker Conversations: And Our Winner Is…

Booker_ConversationsThe 2013 Booker Conversations is a series of in-depth, spoiler-free discussions between BookerMarks bloggers about this year’s nominated titles.

Today, we all join forces one final time to weigh in on who we’re each pulling for to win the prize tomorrow and we reveal who our collective winner is, as calculated by our shortlist standings rating system.

Aaron Westerman is Opinionless. Except of course when it comes to books or movies. He’s the co-founder of Typographical Era where he blogs on a regular basis about the latest in translated literature, foreign cinema, and more.

Karli Cude, co-founder of Typographical Era, is an avid reader and former bookseller. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in English Literature in 2010 and recently received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.

Michelle Williams is an avid “reader” of books and a “rider” of bicycles. When she is not cycling you can catch her reading and when she is not reading, well, she is probably pedaling about somewhere. Her blog, A Reader and A Rider journals her reviews of literary fiction.

Penny Kollar is 1/3 of the Literary Hoarders that works in research administration by day and dreams often of reading and working amongst books full time.

Jackie Hirst is a book freak and a Duran Duran enthusiast.  She’s also 1/3 of the Literary Hoarders.

Elizabeth Polachok is 1/3 of Literary Hoarders, and works in television.  She’ll still tell you to shut off the TV and pick up a book though.

Mike Cohen sometimes sails historic ships in New York Harbor, jockeys a computer other times, and blogs nearly never at 40gigsandamule.com.

Jennifer Fliss is The Well Read Fish.  She’s an avid reader, writer, runner, and has been known to do the flying trapeze (completely true). In addition to literary treats and reviews, The Well Read Fish likes to pair like books with like books, be it by subject, style, setting . . . The Well Read Fish is a New York fish living in Seattle, loving it and occasionally struggling with it.

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Booker_Conversations

2013 Booker Conversations: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Booker_ConversationsThe 2013 Booker Conversations is a series of in-depth, spoiler-free discussions between BookerMarks bloggers about this year’s nominated titles.

Today, Aaron Westerman, Penny Kollar, and Michelle Williams partake in an in-depth spoiler-free discussion about Lhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Lowland.

Aaron is Opinionless. Except of course when it comes to books or movies. He’s the co-founder of Typographical Era where he blogs on a regular basis about the latest in translated literature, foreign cinema, and more.

Penny is 1/3 of the Literary Hoarders that works in research administration by day and dreams often of reading and working amongst books full time.

Michelle is an avid “reader” of books and a “rider” of bicycles. When she is not cycling you can catch her reading and when she is not reading, well, she is probably pedaling about somewhere. Her blog, A Reader and A Rider journals her reviews of literary fiction.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland tells the deeply moving story of two Indian brothers whose lives are forever changed by a tragic event that threatens to tear the very fabric of their family apart. It’s about how we get stuck, unable to shed the ties that bind us and leave the past where it belongs, but it’s also about misunderstanding and miscommunication, and what happens when lives are built around false assumptions.

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Booker_Conversations

2013 Booker Conversations: Harvest by Jim Crace

Booker_ConversationsThe 2013 Booker Conversations is a series of in-depth, spoiler-free discussions between BookerMarks bloggers about this year’s nominated titles.

Today, Aaron Westerman, Karli Cude, and Jennifer Fliss partake in an in-depth spoiler-free discussion about Jim Crace’s novel Harvest.

Aaron is Opinionless. Except of course when it comes to books or movies. He’s the co-founder of Typographical Era where he blogs on a regular basis about the latest in translated literature, foreign cinema, and more.

Karli Cude, co-founder of Typographical Era, is an avid reader and former bookseller. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in English Literature in 2010 and recently received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.

Jennifer Fliss is The Well Read Fish.  She’s an avid reader, writer, runner, and has been known to do the flying trapeze (completely true). In addition to literary treats and reviews, The Well Read Fish likes to pair like books with like books, be it by subject, style, setting . . . The Well Read Fish is a New York fish living in Seattle, loving it and occasionally struggling with it.

Jim Crace’s final novel Harvest has found itself nominated for both the Man Booker Prize and The Goldsmiths Prize. Set in an unspecified time period and told over seven days, Crace’s swan song boldly defies all of the expectations placed upon by casual fiction reader. Plot and character development fly out the window as Crace embarks upon an eloquent exploration of what happens when communication breaks down and trust dissolves.

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Podcast #11: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Arthur Brown, BALCO, Colum McCann, Fredrick Douglass, gender, George Mitchell, history, John Alcock, Let the Great World Spin, Major League Baseball, national book award, Northern Ireland, TransatlanticTrue to our word, here’s podcast #3 of the week!

Three!  See.  I told you that we’d make up for lost time.  Didn’t believe me?  Take your punishment in the form of a deliciously enjoyable digital audio file.  Wait, what?  You did believe me?  The reward for your unwavering faith in my abilities is…a deliciously enjoyable digital audio file.  The margin between the winners and the losers this time is very, very small.

In this episode Aaron saves Jackie with a creative edit, Jackie admits that she hasn’t finished the book (recurring theme?), and Michelle dreams of having a daybed of her very own.

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The_Lowland

2013 Shortlisted: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri #3

The LowlandRating: 4.5
The Lowland
A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
2013 /352 Pages

You say you want a revolution

It’s said that no good deed should ever go unpunished. It often feels as though even those who set out with only the purest and noblest of intentions in mind will ultimately be met with either a compromised failure or an unmitigated disaster at the conclusion of their journey. The real truth probably lies somewhere in between these two statements. A sense of disappointment arrives from the realization that the thing we seek to change is far too intrinsic to ever bend to our will. Then, as a direct result, a punishment is self-inflicted, a constant recurring reminder of a failure to understand and accept the truly limited nature of our role in the larger world.

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2013 Shortlisted: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri #2

Arthur Brown, BALCO, Colum McCann, Fredrick Douglass, gender, George Mitchell, history, John Alcock, Let the Great World Spin, Major League Baseball, national book award, Northern Ireland, TransatlanticRating 4
The Lowland
A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
2013 /352 Pages

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri was read for the BookerMarks project as it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.

Lahiri’s novel followed immediately after my closing the final pages of The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. There is an obvious and dramatic difference in writing styles between the two, with Lahiri using a much stripped down use of language. I found it to be very refreshing.

I also have to say I was completely engaged from the beginning to the very end. I found that I was wanting to return to The Lowland every chance I was able to. Again,  extremely refreshing, especially for one of the Man Booker choices this year. Many times, the impact of those sharp focused sentences were so arresting they were the cause for me to stop, re-read and think. However, one “star” was removed from my rating as the characters were just as stripped down as Lahiri’s writing. Many times I found that to be flat and one-dimensional. The characters are not as richly developed but for that one flaw it still does not take away the intensity with which I devoured this story. Once I closed the pages of The Lowland I found I couldn’t stop thinking about these people! I ran over their stories over and over again in attempts to understand everyone’s perspective. That, to me, is the hallmark of a good read.

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