Lahiri's first story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer and earned her a devoted audience. It also set the bar sky-high for any stories that might follow. Somehow, with her second collection, Unaccustomed Earth, she clears it. Lahiri is on familiar ground here writing in finely tuned, hypnotically even sentences about Bengali families finding their way in America but she stretches out, literally, into longer, more complex narratives. The title story and the masterful "Hell-Heaven" establish themes of quietly splintering families and thwarted passion; from there the collection builds in intensity to the triptych "Hema and Kaushik," whose final installment brings together two star-crossed lovers, then cruelly tears them apart.