Lahiri, Jhumpa "Interpreter of Maladies" - 1999
As most of my friends know, I am not a big fan of short stories. However, I recently read "The Namesake" by the same author and really loved it. And several of my friends had recommended "Interpreter of Maladies" to me, one had even left a copy to me when she was moving, I just had to read it.
I was pleasantly surprised. What a lovely collection of short stories, some of them even interlink, so it doesn't seem like there are a hundred small stories that you forget right away. On the contrary, Jhumpa Lahiri has created some wonderful characters that you won't forget that easily. She incorparates all sorts of problems anyone might face who lives in a culture different from the one they or their parents grew up with. She describes some lovely people (and some not so lovely ones) who are all confronted with a life in two different parts of this world. Since the author is Indian herself and grew up in the United States, this is the background to almost all her stories. Having lived abroad (though not in such a different culture as the characters in the book) almost half of my life myself, I can certainly relate to a few of them.
Jhumpa Lahiri has a good, elegant style, her stories just flow, I will certainly read more of her writings.
Jhumpa Lahiri received the Pulitzer Prize for "Interpreter of Maladies" in 2000.
From the back cover:
"Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this stunning debut collection unerringly charts the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations.
'A writer of uncommon sensitivity and restraint . . . Ms. Lahiri expertly captures the out-of-context lives of immigrants, expatriates, and first-generation Americans' (Wall Street Journal).
In stories that travel from India to America and back again, Lahiri speaks with universal eloquence to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner. Honored as 'Debut of the Year' by The New Yorker and winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, Interpreter of Maladies introduces a young writer of astonishing maturity and insight who 'breathes unpredictable life into the page' (New York Times)."