Review: Unaccustomed Earth

I have to say that this is a great stories collection by my favorite author, Jhumpa Lahiri. Since her first book, she already caught my attention. Unaccustomed Earth is a collection of 8 stories written by her. She always uses the same topic, immigrant from India who live in the US or England, but she keeps on surprising the readers on how deep the experiences affect each person in the stories.

The background of each family told in the stories is common. Those young Indian people who are living in the US or England is the offspring of the first generation who migrated from India in late 60s or 70s. Most of the parents had their chance to finish their PhD in the US, got a proper job, married with Indian women and raised their children there. The conflict came when their children became the next young generation who had, not just age gap, but also cultural gap with the older generation.

Most of the children end up marrying western woman or man and stay in the US, separated from their parents. This is a simple difference between Asian (namely Indian) and Western cultures. In Asia, it is common to live near parents’ house or even live with them in the same house. Because after a marriage, the two family become one… not just the two persons become one. The reluctancy of a father who wanted to stay together with his married daughter was drawn so deep in one the story. Or a story about a married woman who fell in love with a younger man, whose later in his life disregard his identity as an Indian living in the US. Family conflict and personal feeling is deeply explored by Lahiri in this book.

What I love the most about Lahiri is her ability to draw the details of the story beautifully. She offers every detail of the conflicts, the happiness (vs emptiness) and the situation around the happenings. I can imagine the struggling between those two generations who are trying to balance their lives upon each other.

Anyway, as a closing … buy and read this book! It’s worth a reading…

Also click on this review.

Review: Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie

Author : Mitch Albom

Publisher : Anchor Books

Year : 2006

Page : xiii + 192

***

The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in (p.52)

This book struck me hard on my believe about life, love and the meaning of fighting. Morrie Schwartz, the main character in this book was struggling to keep on pacing his life to the max while he got amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AMS). He might be old because of his biological age, but he’s a wise man for his understanding of love and life. He is also a fighter, tough one. For he never giving up until his last breath. He kept on teaching others about what he believes is true, and it is. As his student, Mitch Albom, done a great work in explaining the meaning of love and life in the eye of his old professor.

I like this book because I love the lesson that Morrie wanted to share to us. It’s very touching. He believed that life is more meaningful when we could devote ourself to love others & to community and to create something that give us purpose and meaning (p. 43). He has been known as a great lecturer, a wonderful father and husband; and a friendly friend for he was always being fully present (p. 135). When he’s talking to someone, it means that he’s thinking about that someone and be with that someone.

He also believes in LOVE. He quoted Levine, “Love is the only rational act”. I did not grab it at first, because I haven’t felt the pure and true love in my life. But then when I think back, I found one example of true love, which is the love of my parents. They were together at first and they are still together up till today! Morrie believes that marriage is very important and we’re missing a hell of a lot if we don’t try it (p. 149). Guess that we should try …

Morrie also taught me to release all the sadness, pain and hard times by “giving myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life” (p. 57). What a great way out! We can cry if feel too sad or too hard to handle those hard times, but we can’t forget all the good things that ever happened (or still happening) in our lives!

At the end, don’t forget that “None of us can undo what we’ve done, or relives a life already recorded” (p. 190). So, we better do wonderful things as much as we can do while we’re living… such as: Giving out LOVE.

These Tuesdays with Morrie had taught me a lot of lessons. Things that I won’t get from school. He got that experiences and he shared it with us. You’re missing a hell of a lot if you don’t read this book…