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Whereabouts  By  cover art

Whereabouts

By: Jhumpa Lahiri
Narrated by: Susan Vinciotti Bonito
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller 

A marvelous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies - her first in nearly a decade - about a woman questioning her place in the world, wavering between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties.

Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. In the arc of one year, an unnamed narrator in an unnamed city, in the middle of her life’s journey, realizes that she’s lost her way. The city she calls home acts as a companion and interlocutor: traversing the streets around her house, and in parks, piazzas, museums, stores, and coffee bars, she feels less alone.

We follow her to the pool she frequents, and to the train station that leads to her mother, who is mired in her own solitude after her husband’s untimely death. Among those who appear on this woman’s path are colleagues with whom she feels ill at ease, casual acquaintances, and “him,” a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. Until one day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun’s vital heat, her perspective will abruptly change.

This is the first novel Lahiri has written in Italian and translated into English. The reader will find the qualities that make Lahiri’s work so beloved: deep intelligence and feeling, richly textured physical and emotional landscapes, and a poetics of dislocation. But Whereabouts, brimming with the impulse to cross barriers, also signals a bold shift of style and sensibility. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.

©2021 Jhumpa Lahiri (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

A Most Anticipated Novel of the Year from: BuzzfeedO, The Oprah MagazineTime VultureVogueLitHubHarper's Bazaar 

"A quietly bracing work of fiction.... This is arguably Lahiri’s most beautifully written novel.” (Jennifer Wilson, The Nation

“A gorgeous, contemplative read.... Poetic prose that invites you to linger over the words.” (Real Simple, “Best Books of 2021 (so far)")

Whereabouts is rendered in short, journal-like fragments so strongly and rightly voiced that other books sound wrong when you turn to them." (Claire Dederer, The Atlantic

What listeners say about Whereabouts

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Disappointing given the number of awards

A huge let down. I kept waiting for the story to begin. It never did.

4 people found this helpful

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Gorgeous melancholy reflections

For the few days that I listened to this novel, it felt like I was living alongside the narrator. Eating with her in cafes, people watching with her in museums, waking up with her and letting the sunrise arrive over us. This novel is a portrait of solitude and depression but it’s not just that. It is reflective, soft, distilled, exquisite. If you love poetry or Elena Ferrante’s novels, you might love Whereabouts. I certainly did.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

For a book that received such excellent reviews, I found it lacking. The writing is beautiful and each episode has a point or two. But I kept looking for some reason to care about this woman and found none.
The narrator was excellent in most ways, but needs to learn not to drop certain vowel sounds, e.g. the g in recognition.

2 people found this helpful

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Dull non-story about a very boring person

When I finally got to the end of night g happening with this silly woman, all I could say was, who cares?

2 people found this helpful

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Read for Bookclub. Boring

Great writing. No plot. Unlikeable narrator. Life is short- skip this one, but it too is short.

1 person found this helpful

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Quietly engaging, Magical

There’s not much plot, but the writing is so quietly compelling and the readers voice is lovely. A wonderful look at a quiet life.

1 person found this helpful

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another great series of short stories

such a nice book told from one woman's perspective. just stories from a life. cash register was a favorite.