Interpreter of Maladies: Book summary and reviews of Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter of Maladies

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter of Maladies

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Book Summary

Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In "A Temporary Matter," published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant. She is an important and powerful new voice.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Simply put, Lahiri displays a remarkable maturity and ability to imagine other lives...[E]ach story offers something special. Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies will reward readers." USA Today, Ginia Bellafante.

"Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies has a gift for illuminating the full meaning of brief relationships with lovers, family, friends..." - Time Out New York, Ariel Levy.

"The experience of being foreign and the need for connection both mark Lahiri's outstanding debut collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, in which intimacy is often the odd consequences of her character's admitting how distant they have become, or always were." - The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani.

"There is not one false note here, not one misstep or hesitation....[E]ach of these nine stories has the capacity to amaze us..." - Newsweek, Laura Shapiro.

"Lahiri's language is uncluttered; she's sparing with metaphor, and the riches accumulate unobtrusively." - The New York Times Book Review, Caleb Crain.

"What makes Lahiri's debut collection of stories stand out is precisely its quality of unexpected ordinariness. Its not that these tales of Americanized Indians are themselves ordinary...It's the familiarity of the world Lahiri captures...that distinguishes ..." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Lahiri's touch in these nine tales is delicate, but her observations remain damningly accurate, and her bittersweet stories are unhampered by nostalgia." - Publishers Weekly.

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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 ...

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

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