Acculturation means cultural modification of an individual group, or people by
adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture. In other words it means
simply adjusting and adapting oneself to the conditions prevailing. “The
process of acculturation is a slow one – sided (the minority seeking
integration with the majority) one and is not without a sense of loss and
exile. It is not a clear transformation, it gives rise to hybridity marking
different stages of acculturation” – Malik 156.
Most characters tend to
always struggle for acculturation in Indian novels. The protagonists of the
novel are lead to alienation, frustration, sequestration, segregation and quest
for identity. In Indian novels there are abundant characters. These characters
are always prevalent in the works of expatriate writers like Bharati Mukerjee,
Amitav Ghosh, Kiran Desai, Anitha Desai, Jumpha Lahiri.
A cross – cultural
condition erupts when the people of two or more cultural groups come in closer
contacts. What they bring nearer, along with some other notions is their
willingness in parting with their much sustained totality of heritage, habits,
customs. Even if these groups predispose, they cannot merge the divergent
cultural identities. This chiefly occurs due to the individual’s strong
indigenous psycho – cultural background, which puts them at the social cross
Jhumpa Lahiri is a
Pulitzer Prize-winning author known for works of fiction like Interpreter of
Maladies, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth and The Lowland. Jhumpa Lahiri is an
Indian – American author who was born as Nilanjana Sudeshna Lahiri in London on
July 11, 1967, to Bengali parentage, author Jhumpa Lahiri published her debut
in 1999, Interpreter of Maladies,
winning the Pulitzer Prize. She followed up in 2003 with her first novel, The Namesake, and returned to short
stories with the No. 1 New York Times
best-seller Unaccustomed Earth.
Lahiri’s 2013 novel, The Lowland,
was partially inspired by real-world political events.
With the family
nickname, “Jhumpa,” coming to be used by school teachers, Lahiri went
on to attend Barnard College in New York, focusing on English literature. She read
at Boston University and obtained three master’s degrees in Literature. Jhumpa
Lahiri also completed a Doctrate in Renaissance.
“The Lowland” is Lahiri’s second novel after “The
Namesake” and is considered to be her fourth book. It is a multi–generational
tale that stretches almost five decades between Tollygunge and Rhode Island. Jhumpa
Lahiri in this novel deals with migration, dislocation and relocation, the
consequences of displacements and cross cultural encounters. The Pultizer award
winner novelist, has brought out Post Colonial concerns of identity and culture
Lowland” and the novel was shortlisted for the National Book Award in 2013, the
Man Booker Prize 2013and the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for fiction 2014.