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February 06, 2010

Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahari


  • Jhumpa Lahari, winner of the Pulitzer Prize winner for this very book brings an interesting collection of stories from Boston and beyond giving us an insight on Indians abroad set in the past. The similarities that still exist in the present society amongst Indians in North America are something that one would find to be interesting. She’s also the author of ‘The Namesake, another of her interesting book, which I’m planning to read anytime soon. At least before the movie is out. Yes it’s going to be released soon, a Mira Nair movie starring Tabu, Irrfan Khan. But that’s another story.



  • The stories don't have grand passions and tumultuous relationships, or dramatic plots. Instead, they exquisitely detail the thoughts of one individual about a period of his or her life. For example, a woman who is having an affair with a married man and watches him go back to his wife each week. Or a child who goes to an immigrant woman's home each day after school, and sees her deal with homesickness, loneliness and isolation.



  • Then again we have an interesting story, which by the way is the title of the book, and the story ‘Interpreter of Maladies.’ Talks about a guide who also is a translator for a Gujarati doctor in Orison. He interprets patients’ troubles and pain to the doctor who does not know the local language. This is something one of his tourist who is from North America finds romantic and how their story is portrayed in the chapter is very interesting.



  • My favorite pick is ‘The treatment of Bibi Haldar’ It is a beautiful story about Bibi a misfit young woman living in a rundown building in Calcutta and is taken care of by her cousin and his wife. The story moves on from there to how they leave her at her plight and go away. How her life takes a major twist is very interesting and you’ll absolutely enjoy the climax of this story.



  • All in all a collection that definitely deserves the award in fact, it exposes facts and at the same time makes us deeply involved and reflective. Certainly a must read for any one and everyone.


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