Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies


Book - 1999
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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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c1999.
ISBN: 9780618101368
Branch Call Number: LAHI
Characteristics: 198 p. ; 21 cm.


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Jul 05, 2019

20th anniversary of this amazing book of stories!

Jul 03, 2019

I simply cannot praise this book enough! I generally dislike short stories because they do not get enough time to develop a plot or the character sketch in the details needed. This book changed my perception entirely! It is a collection of extremely well-written stories that have a general theme of first-generation abroad Indians and the kind of nostalgia your homeland embodies in you. I love how the stories literally start right from no where, like a normal day for the character, and end on a similar note. But in the short span of 8-9 pages, I cannot help marvel on the plot developed and the character sketch. When the stories end, you pause for a second and wonder what just really happened.. that it could end either way and it totally was up to you to decide. The emotions are so raw and blunt which she could deliver to the reader in so few a words!

I have recommended this book to every of my reading friends and there hasn't been a single disappointment! Thoroughly recommended!!

RogerDeBlanck Jul 24, 2018

The uniqueness of Lahiri's collection of stories resides in its acute examination of cultural identity and the relationships between cultures. She gives readers great insight into the lives of immigrants, both young and old, some of them couples and others on their own. The stories are varied in their settings, from Lahiri’s native India to her current home in America. The characters often face very personal choices that will define their ability to gain a sense of self. Lahiri is able to unearth the complex sources that bring about conflict and separation. She takes what appears subtle and finds deep-rooted issues that must be addressed in order to gain understanding. With her use of incredibly fluid prose, this is a powerful and engrossing set of stories.

Jun 24, 2018

A beautifully written, memorable collection of short stories. Highly recommended.

May 10, 2018

This early set of stories carries all the compact and poetic beauty of Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize-winning prose, with engaging human foibles enacted across three continents. Sadly, there is dysfunction, and family strife, and infidelity and other sexual misconduct, but most are balanced with sparks of vibrant human perseverance.

Mar 05, 2018

Nicely written, struck through my heart especially relating to how minority Americans visiting countries of similar ethnic backgrounds are viewed.

Sep 20, 2017

Little gems of short stories set in India and the northeastern United States.

Apr 17, 2017

This collection of short stories did wonders on my emotions, playing with them until the transitions between sorrow, hope, and amazement eventually blurred together.
These stories highlight various lives of people from or connected to an Indian descent. Showing the humanity of the characters, the very real-life choices and actions that occur, and integrating the customs of the culture, I believe this book is not only great for other people of Indian descent to relate to, but also a great way for anyone interested in the modern culture of India to familiarize themselves with it.
Not all of these stories have happy endings, but I think that helps make them more realistic, more relatable, because life doesn't allows end up being fair.
Looking at it from a feminist perspective or a women-gender roles perspective (as I tried for my class), the stories highlight various issues, ranging from almost unnoticeable to glaringly obvious forms of oppression.
It pulls at your heart and makes you want to read more.
Would recommend.

Feb 08, 2017

really enjoyed most of short stories. a couple, not so much. Liked that most took place or had connection to Boston. Short stories often aren't my favorite so I shouldn't be too critical.

Jan 20, 2017

Exquisitely written stories that uncover the deep humanity of those of us deracinated from home. This is a book from and about migrants from their own perspectives and those of the ones who never left. All the perspectives are Indian or Indian-American. The stories both live within and transcend culture. Definitely passes Duvernay and Latif tests. Almost fails Bechdel (two named women talking to each other about something other than a man), which is curious for a woman author. There is one very short conversation between Lilia and Mrs. Kenyon, but most of the POV characters are male.

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Dec 26, 2013

"How about telling each other something we've never told before." (from A Temporary Matter)


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