By Jhumpa Lahiri
This is a series of short stories, the themes and moods from which The Namesake (5/17) was written. It’s kind of a hit and miss. I read them a long while ago, but the ones that stick out (which I have googled to find the right names of): A Real Durwan and Mrs. Sen’s. Both feature elderly women who tug on my heartstrings. All of them centre on the lives of Indians and Indian-Americans (the author is Indian-American as well) and, in its defence, it does portray a wider range than I would have anticipated. You have the usual tropes, adultery, mistreatment of elders, sudden pregnancy, etc. but they’re brought it in unusual and quite creative ways.
But, mind you, none of the stories in this series are particularly happy ones – people are mean and unkind, and these are supposed to reinforce that fact.