Dec 02

The Interpreter of Maladies

The Interpreter of Maladies

by Jhumpa Lahiri

(4/5) Picture 1Fiction / Short Stories
First Published in 1999
Publisher: Flamingo
Set in: Various countries: USA, India, London
Won The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2000
Won the Hemingway Foundation / PEN Award 2000

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Book Synopsis:

9 short stories that reveal the lives of Indians living at home, or abroad, but nevertheless isolated, steering their way through the murky path between tradition and the new world that has evolved around them. These stories which are eloquently and subtlety told by Indian-American writer Jhumpa Lahiri, will speak to anyone who has experienced the longings of exile, or the isolated confusion of an outsider.

bunnyMy Book Review:

I generally don’t read short story collections, they never really appealed to me. I like to travel along the long arc of stories with the characters and really immerse myself in a book. Short stories always seemed to cheat me of that depth. I did enjoy reading the book The Interpreter of Maladies. Though short story collections are still not my cup of tea, and I did end up wanting more of an investment in each story, I understand why it won the Pulitzer Prize.

Each story was a world of its own, entering the lives of real people and their displaced lives. As the book synopsis says, Jhumpa Lahiri’s stories are ‘understated’. They are quiet and domestic, but also therefore identifiable and honest in their portrayal. All 9 stories are unique and independent of each other in very satisfying ways, jumping across continents and content. I appreciated all the stories, but the two short stories that stood out the most for me are ‘This Blessed House’ and ‘The Third and Final Continent’.

Jhumpa Lahiri also wrote The Namesake, and though I haven’t yet read the book, it makes a great movie.

x Julie

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