In Other Words: Book summary and reviews of In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

In Other Words

by Jhumpa Lahiri

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri X
In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2016
    256 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

From the best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, a powerful nonfiction debut - an "honest, engaging, and very moving account of a writer searching for herself in words." -Kirkus Reviews (starred)

In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story - of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery always eluded her.

Seeking full immersion, she decides to move to Rome with her family, for "a trial by fire, a sort of baptism" into a new language and world. There, she begins to read, and to write - initially in her journal - solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.

Presented in a dual-language format, this is a wholly original book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Vladimir Nabokov: a startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An honest, self-deprecating, and very moving account of a writer searching for herself in words." - Kirkus

"She writes exquisitely about her experiences with language ... Her unexpected metamorphosis provides a captivating and insightful lesson in the power of language to transform." - Publishers Weekly, Book of the Week

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Author Information

Jhumpa Lahiri Author Biography

Photo Credit: Marion Ettlinger

Jhumpa Lahiri was born 1967 in London, England, and raised in Rhode Island. She is a graduate of Barnard College, where she received a B.A. in English literature, and of Boston University, where she received an M.A. in English, M.A. in Creative Writing and M.A. in Comparative Studies in Literature and the Arts, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies. She has taught creative writing at Boston University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Her debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It was translated into twenty-nine languages and became a bestseller both in the United States and abroad. In addition to the Pulitzer, it received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Addison ...

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Name Pronunciation
Jhumpa Lahiri: JHOOM-paah L-hee-ree

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