In Other Words
In Other Words
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9781101875551, 256pp.
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
From the best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, a powerful nonfiction debut an honest, engaging, and very moving account of a writer searching for herself in words. Kirkus Reviews (starred)
In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery always eluded her.
Seeking full immersion, she decides to move to Rome with her family, for a trial by fire, a sort of baptism into a new language and world. There, she begins to read, and to write initially in her journal solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.
Presented in a dual-language format, this is a wholly original book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Vladimir Nabokov: a startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.
The Interpreter of Maladies author is a successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language writer. But she found writing in Italian gave her true freedom; "Language is a very messy thing," she says. More at NPR.org
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