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Interpreter of Maladies Paperback – 15 May 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New Ed edition (15 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006551793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007718696
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘Lahiri has an extraordinary voice’
Salman Rushdie

‘Jhumpa Lahiri is the kind of writer who makes you want to grab the next person you see and say
“Read this!”
She’s a dazzling storyteller with a distinctive voice, an eye for nuance, an ear for irony. She is one of the finest short story writers I’ve read.’
AMY TAN

‘Jhumpa Lahiri’s strong, subtle short story collection is a debut to relish.’
Guardian

From the Publisher

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE 2000
"Jhumpha Lahiri is the kind of writer who makes you want to grab the first person you see and say 'Read this!' She's a dazzling storyteller with a distinctive voice , an eye for nuance , an ear for irony. She is one of the finest short story writers I've read." AMY TAN

"Another side of India emerges when Lahiri sets her stories solely in Calcutta - where her protaganists are not Harvard academics but stair sweepers and outcasts. The nostalgic mist of homesickness lifted, India emerges raw, chaotic and often harsh...After reading three of these stories, I found myself rationing the remaining six, to try to make the book last longer. A lovely collection." Victoria Miller, SCOTSMAN

"The genius of Jhumpha Lahiri's storytelling lies in her restrained drollery, her eye for details, and her tone of wise consolation." Anthony Quinn, HARPERS & QUEEN

"Dazzling writing...Simply put, Lahiri displays a remarkable maturity and ability to imagine other lives. Each story offers something special." USA TODAY

"Strong, subtle...a debut to relish." GUARDIAN

"Jhumpa Lahiri's strength as a writer stems partly from her ability to delineate in telling detail the mores of bith societies... There are at the moment many good writers of Indian origin who recall with troubled nostalgia a past they do not want to return to but somehow hope to resolve by explaining it in fictional form. Lahiri joind the ranks of those whose work goes further and illuminates human nature in general." TLS

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whereas Alice Munroe zooms in on small-town Canadian lives, Lahiri homes in on the Indian community of Canada thus opening up the horizons that often seem so narrow in Munroe. As with the older writer, however, the authorial voice remains kind and generous in the face of her characters' failings. Her humanity shines all the way through these stories.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved this!
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Several of the stories in Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies leave you with a feeling you ought to be left with when reading a short story- like you have been fed a very interesting snippet of a life which is not yours. It is a pleasant read, the stories starting off downbeat and eventually becoming very optimistic, displaying clear comparisons about the impact of the western world on people of Indian descent who experience it. Lahiri is quite good at making characters seem believable, although she seems to be obsessed with academics.

Out of the nine stories, four of them were really great (the first and last being personal favourites), another three were fine reads, and then there were a couple which left you feeling quite short-changed. Some people may be irked by Lahiri's determinedly literal writing style; she goes into detail but keeps the writing frank, which might be off-putting to people who prefer a bit more emotion injected into their writing.
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Format: Paperback
This is a lovely book of short stories. Even though each story is not long, I became quite engrossed in each one, something that other stories take longer in length to typically accomplish. This book presents the lives of people with origins in India, some stories take place in India, others where Indians emigrated (several times they are in Boston). The stories are reflective, and generally show people at turning points of their lives, or when they are vulnerable. I find it quite amazing that the young author was able to take the view points of people of different ages, male or female. Another message I particularly connected with is that what some may consider to be the everyday can in fact be extraordinary. It's so easy to make fun or scoff at anyone. But for many people, regardless of origin, making it through the day with satisfaction of some sort at day's end is a big deal, often in a very personal way that you don't share with others, except perhaps those closest to you. This book touches on that. Lahiri's prose is beautiful. I loved this book
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Format: Paperback
There's a trend that runs through most modern fiction about India, and that is of overcooked literary constructs, wordy sentences and cardboard cut-out cliches of people, tastes and smells.

Luckily, Jhumpa Lahiri decided not to rely on any of that. Her writing is simple, understated but yet so powerful. The simplicity doesn't feel contrived at all. It's natural, light and unassuming, but still so satisfying.

My only complaint was the continuous references to food (mustard oil, curry, aubergines, etc) which strayed into the formulaic 'Indian fiction' I mentioned earlier but, to be honest, I only got round to reading this ten years after it was first published in the UK so it could be that all the cliched food stuff came after this was written.

Overall, I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My friend recommended this book to me, so I bought it. Unfortunately this book does not resonate with me. It might be well written and all, but I found it kind of depressing to read. I don't need to read about people going through tragedies or midlife-crisis. I can already find that in the real world. So I'm not a fan.
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Format: Paperback
There are eight heart-warming, revealing, personal human interest stories in this small volume which make it quite clear why Ms Jhumpa Lahiri received the Pulitzer Prize in literature. Her stories are vivid and colorful descriptions of human experiences and life situations. Some are light-hearted and humorous, others serious, some are everyday occurrences; all leave a deep impression on the reader who is a little wiser, kinder and more compassionate after having read them.
The reader will long remember the nights that the electricity went out in a neighborhood where Shoba (female) and Shukumar (male) lived. They became emotionally distant after the still born birth of their baby. On the first night, Shukumar prepared a traditional Indian dinner which the couple had not eaten for a long time, not since they grew apart due to the impact of this personal tragedy. Shoba started a little game, of revealing something to her husband that she said he never knew about her. He was expected to reciprocate. Shukumar began to have more intense feelings of love toward his wife after these revelations began. In fact, even after the electricity was fixed ... they continued their "candle light suppers" and "secret revelations". Shukumar was in for a big surprise one night when Shoba laid before him, one of her 'secret revelations'. Read the story to find out what he discovered ...
In another story, we are introduced to Mr. Pirzada, originally from a region of India, which later was partitioned to become Pakistan. He routinely visited an Indian family for dinner and to watch TV, particularly the news, to learn of developments in his homeland. He was a research botanist at a local university and lived in sparse surroundings.
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