Interpreter of Maladies, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (6 ratings)


Pulitzer-winning, scintillating studies in yearning and exile from a Bengali Bostonian woman of immense promise.A couple exchange unprecedented confessions during nightly blackouts in their Boston apartment as they struggle to cope with a heartbreaking loss; a student arrives in new lodgings in a mystifying new land and, while he awaits the arrival of his arranged-marriage wife from Bengal, he finds his first bearings with the aid of the curious evening rituals that his centenarian landlady orchestrates; a schoolboy looks on while his childminder finds that the smallest dislocation can unbalance her new American life all too easily and send her spiralling into nostalgia for her homeland...Jhumpa Lahiri's prose is beautifully measured, subtle and sober, and she is a writer who leaves a lot unsaid, but this work is rich in observational detail, evocative of the yearnings of the exile (mostly Indians in Boston here), and full of emotional pull and reverberation.


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Showing 1 - 5 of 6 reviews.

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Review by

Nine short stories that deal with the Indian diaspora in the US. Prose is simple and quick to understand. Wonderful light reading.

Review by

This one was recommended to me with the words "she tells world's most beautiful stories". I am not sure if I agree.I admit that there was a couple of stories that stuck with me, mainly the first; "A temporary matter", about a young couple on the brink of divorce. But this story also shows what I see as the main failing of these stories, namely that they are all told from an all-knowing point of view. Nothing is hidden, which takes away much of the tension in the stories. The stories are small slivers of common lives, but since we in most of the stories get an "infordump" in the beginning, all the "why"s disappear, there is no real conflict and there is nothing to build a character on.

Review by

An enjoyable and varied book of short stories, giving an insight into the life of educated and working class Indians both in India and America.The majority of the stories engaged me and some moved me, although I recall that they are all written in the third person, with quite a distancing affect. The collection may be about a totally different situation in life to your own, but engages the emotions to interest you in the more universal, human condition.I would agree with an earlier reviewer's comments that the outstanding story is the last, "The Third and Final Continent", which paints a life with such perfectly chosen language. It is beautiful.

Review by

It is an astonishing to discover that this collection of nine short stories is Jhumpa Lahiri's first published work. It is no suprise to find that it won her a Pulitzer Prize in the year 2000. This is an almost perfect collection - the epitome of what short stories should be. Each is caringly crafted, exquisite in design, gentle yet sturdy and perfectly balanced and calm. A wonderful book. My favourite was serendipitously the last - The Third and Final Continent. Blissful and contented reading.

Review by

A thoroughly enjoyable mix

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