New Hoboken Book Club


Talk about books, baby…

Hoboken411 reader Dorothy wants everyone to know about a new book club that has started up in Hoboken called (ironically): “Hoboken Reads.”

A fine new bookclub had its first meeting last month! Hoboken ReadsB is under the professional guidance of Jill WehlerB and will meet once a month in the South Independence. Next meeting: July 14, 2009 and we will be discussing Unaccustomed Earth by Lahiri. Join in – this is a good one! Contact Jill at


7/14/2009: Unaccustomed Earth – Jhumpa Lahiri

Review capsule from Booklist:

“Following her thoughtful first novel, The Namesake (2003), which has been made into a meditative film, Lahiri returns to the short story, the form that earned her the Pulitzer Prize for her debut, Interpreter of Maladies (1999).

The tight arc of a story is perfect for Lahiri’s keen sense of life’s abrupt and painful changes, and her avid eye for telling details. This collection’s five powerful stories and haunting triptych of tales about the fates of two Bengali families in America map the perplexing hidden forces that pull families asunder and undermine marriages. “Unaccustomed Earth,” the title story, dramatizes the divide between immigrant parents and their American-raised children, and is the first of several scathing inquiries into the lack of deep-down understanding and trust in a marriage between a Bengali and non-Bengali. An inspired miniaturist, Lahiri creates a lexicon of loaded images. A hole burned in a dressy skirt suggests vulnerability and the need to accept imperfection. Van Eyck’s famous painting, The Arnolfini Marriage, is a template for a tale contrasting marital expectations with the reality of familial relationships. A collapsed balloon is emblematic of failure. A lost bangle is shorthand for disaster.

Lahiri’s emotionally and culturally astute short stories (ideal for people with limited time for pleasure reading and a hunger for serious literature) are surprising, aesthetically marvelous, and shaped by a sure and provocative sense of inevitability.”I

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