Whereabouts (Paperback)
  • Whereabouts (Paperback)
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Whereabouts (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback 176 Pages
Published: 31/03/2022
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Waterstones Says

Set against the evocative backdrop of an Italian city and told in Lahiri’s hypnotic prose, Whereabouts traces one woman’s thoughts, dreams and solitary wanderings as they culminate in one life-changing moment.

The new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author: a haunting portrait of a woman, her decisions, her conversations, her solitariness, in a beautiful and lonely Italian city.

The woman moves through the city, her city, on her own. She moves along its bright pavements; she passes over its bridges, through its shops and pools and bars. She slows her pace to watch a couple fighting, to take in the sight of an old woman in a waiting room; pauses to drink her coffee in a shaded square. Sometimes her steps take her to her grieving mother, sealed off in her own solitude. Sometimes they take her to the station, where the trains can spirit her away for a short while. But in the arc of a year, as one season gives way to the next, transformation awaits. One day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun's vital heat, her perspective will change forever.

A rare work of fiction, Whereabouts - first written in Italian and then translated by the author herself - brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement. A dazzling evocation of a city, its captures a woman standing on one of life's thresholds, reflecting on what has been lost and facing, with equal hope and rage, what may lie ahead. 

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526629975
Number of pages: 176
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

One of the most interesting American writers at work today ... Whereabouts feels like her answer to Matisse’s cut-outs: she has taken her writing apart and reconstructed it, sparely, to make something new, where silence matters … If the antidote to a year of solitude and trauma is art, then this novel is the answer. It is superb - SUNDAY TIMES

Elegantly done, a portrait veiled in quiet melancholy, but which still celebrates the unexpected joys of the quotidian, and how much more sharply you can appreciate them when alone - THE TIMES

Insightful, elegant prose exposing the faults that make us human - I NEWS

Addictive … Sometimes we’re in the mood for intimate novels exploring the intricacies of human emotion … Quietly mesmerising - STYLIST

So timely … Takes daring and to my mind beautiful risks with structure and plot - ELIZABETH DAY, BBC Radio 4 Open Book

Its sentences are honed to minimalist beauty ... The most exciting moments of the novel are when it becomes a novel of thinking, when it dives down into its sharp, provocative fragments - MADELEINE THIEN, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

A beautifully poised exploration of an interior life - DAILY MAIL

Each chapter an espresso shot of regret and loneliness … This is a book about belonging and not belonging, place and displacement - GUARDIAN

Compelling … Whereabouts feels like a movie … Stylish and therapeutic - GUARDIAN

A quietly bracing work of fiction ... This is arguably Lahiri’s most beautifully written novel - THE NATION

Whereabouts is rendered in short, journal-like fragments so strongly and rightly voiced that other books sound wrong when you turn to them - THE ATLANTIC

An utterly compelling and contemplative story, infused with a fascinating character study, whose presence I still can't seem to shake off. - STYLIST

Lahiri writes with subtlety and delicacy - NPR

Whereabouts signals a new mode for Lahiri, and a daring transformation ... It feels true and wise to the core - LOS ANGELES TIMES

Slim and bewitching … A modern day flaneuse … The author has a talent for capturing the everyday - SPECTATOR

Evokes fleeting but resonant encounters with Chekhovian efficiency, making ordinary memories seem profound … Ms Lahiri has taken risks for her craft, and they have paid off, beautifully - ECONOMIST

Lahiri’s prose is magnetic - MAIL+

A hypnotic disappearing act ... The book’s peculiar magnetism lies in its clash of candour and coyness - OBSERVER

An unusual literary and linguistic feat … If, in English, Lahiri is an eye, in Italian, she’s an ear - NEW YORK TIMES

Glorious … Written with grace and sensitivity … Magnificent - INDEPENDENT

Jhumpa Lahiri’s writing is wonderful in the literal sense: on every page there is something to take your breath away - SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE

Subtle and stirring ... A fascinating departure in cadence and form for Lahiri ... The sort of deft hand so few can properly wield: it evokes the sort of slow thrum of despair and loneliness so few can manage well.Lahiri is no ordinary writer ... Poetic as she is and always has been, seemingly innocuous turns of phrase cut to the core, while descriptions of light and darkness take you aback and make you swoon. Elegant, beautiful ... Whereabouts will stay with you longer than you anticipate - USA TODAY

A meditative and aching snapshot of a life in suspension ... Lahiri’s poetic flourishes and spare, conversational prose are on full display. This beautifully written portrait of a life in passage captures the hopes, frustrations, and longings of solitude and remembrance - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Painterly … exquisitely detailed… [Lahiri’s] language seems to have been sieved through a fine mesh, each word a gleaming gemstone … An incisive and captivating evocation of the nature and nexus of place and self - BOOKLIST

Subtle and stirring ... A fascinating departure in cadence and form for Lahiri. Told in fragments, Whereabouts [is written with] the sort of deft hand so few can properly wield: it evokes the sort of slow thrum of despair and loneliness so few can manage well. But Lahiri is no ordinary writer. There’s a calming sense of comfort one finds in the solitude experienced by our main character, largely due to the exactness of Lahiri’s writing. Poetic as she is and always has been, seemingly innocuous turns of phrase cut to the core, while descriptions of light and darkness take you aback and make you swoon. Elegant, beautiful ... Whereabouts will stay with you longer than you anticipate - USA TODAY

Some books leave you with a feeling for which there are no words, or at least no words in English that you know of. Jhumpa Lahiri’s Whereabouts is one of those books. The feeling closest to what is evoked by this beautifully crafted novel is a stroll during the blue hour on the first warm evening of spring. A jewel of a book - BOOKPAGE

A series of dreamy vignettes, an unconnected shuffle of moments or mornings of encounters that create a window into the life of an educated woman and teacher who is happily single... Beautifully observed and ruminative ... - Penelope Debelle, SA Weekend

Not one word is wasted. A total absence of exposition ensures each microfiction is surgically edited to its barest, most beautiful bones. And yet there is a warmth here that encourages great affection for the anonymous narrator. Written with intelligence, elegance, empathy and hypnotic power, Whereabouts is destined to become a book of the year. - IRISH TIMES

The storyteller in whose hands we can always expect to find the sacredness of the ordinary and the grace of the mundane constantly unveiled - FINANCIAL TIMES Summer Books 2021: Critics' picks

A novel with radical ambitions … [An] evocation of a life at once painfully precarious and yet full of small, intensely physical pleasures - LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS

This is one to read and re-read - I PAPER, Summer Reading Picks 2021

Beautiful Italian miniatures, best dipped into when the need for a few pages of calm reflection is required - Otago Daily Times

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Ricoh

“Energises your mind and let’s you relax and people watch.”

What a beautiful piece of literature. From the first page to the last, the writing is exquisite and melodious, giving you a sense of comfort and wellbeing.

Jhumpa Lahiri turns the everyday into the vibrancy of... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 3

“Beautifully written”

A short but beautiful little book. Whereabouts explores our main characters life in everyday form. From going to work, to the shop, to getting a sandwich- the simple everyday aspects that make up a persons life.
We... More

Paperback edition
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