Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies

By Jhumpa Lahiri

Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780395927205, 160pp.

Publication Date: June 1999


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.

About the Author
JHUMPA LAHIRI was born in London and raised in Rhode Island. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and author of several books. Her debut collection of stories, "Interpreter of Maladies", was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award and "The New Yorker" Debut of the Year. Her novel "The Namesake" was a "New York Times" Notable Book, a "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize finalist and was selected as one of the best books of the year by "USA Today" and "Entertainment Weekly", among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For Interpreter of Maladies

"[Lahiri] announces herself as a wonderfully distinctive new voice. Indeed, Ms. Lahiri's prose is so eloquent and assured that the reader easily forgets the 'Interpreter of Maladies' is a young writer's first book...Ms. Lahiri chronicles her characters' lives with both objectivity and compassion while charting the emotional temperature of their lives with tactile precision. She is a writer of uncommon elegance and poise, and with 'Interpreter of Maldies' she has made a precocious debut." The New York Times

"Lahiri's touch in these nine tales is delicate, but her observations remain damningly accurate, and her bittersweet stories are unhampered by nostalgia..." Publishers Weekly

"Lahiri's touch is delicate yet assured, leaving no room for flubbed notes or forced epiphanies." The Los Angeles Times

"Dazzling writing, an easy-to-carry paperback format and a budget-respecting price tag of $12: Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies possesses these three qualities, making it my book of choice this summer every time someone asks for a recommendation...Simply put, Lahiri displays a remarkable maturity and ability to imagine other lives...[E]ach story offers something special. Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies will reward readers." USA Today

"[S]torytelling of surpassing kindness and skill." The San Francisco Chronicle

"India is an inescapable presence in this strong first collection's nine polished and resonant tales, most of which have appeared in The New Yorker and other publications." Kirkus Reviews