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Interpreter of Maladies (1999)

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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10,659233481 (4.09)1 / 314
Stories about Indians in India and America. The story, A Temporary Matter, is on mixed marriage, Mrs. Sen's is on the adaptation of an immigrant to the U.S., and in the title story an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors.

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» See also 314 mentions

English (222)  Catalan (4)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (232)
Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
While well-written and fascinatingly thought-provoking, they're all quite depressing. These stories basically amount to analyses of failed relationships, broken identities, and pain through complex, well-defined characters. ( )
  revatait | Feb 21, 2021 |
Writes well but only three stories really do it for me - probably the content rather than the writing. In the other tales many of the characters do not have an internal logic. They come across (to me at any rate) as stupid, selfish, unaware. The stories that I like give the characters an internal logic for their actions - in the others characters come across as patronised by the author, or perhaps stereotypes. The ones I really like are:
Mrs Sen's
The Third and Final Continent
(plus an honourable mention for This Blessed House)
Interesting that all these are in the latter half of the book..... ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
Such a beautiful collection of short stories, one of the best I've ever read. These stories showed me the true potential of realist fiction in a way that I forgot was possible. Reading these stories, I am struck that Jhumpa Lahiri knows how to write a perfect short story in its "traditional" form you know? I don't know if "traditional" is exactly the word, but basically we always have this idea of the short story as a really tight, coiled spring of a story that is slow-burning, grounded, & filled with quiet complexity of humans. This is difficult!! Really difficult to do!! Which is why I think some find it easier to turn to speculative short fiction for example (some: me, lol).

The first story, "A Temporary Matter", was PERFECT as a story if I was teaching a class on writing it would be absolutely mandatory reading. She is so ridiculously skilled down to the level of the sentence. Every single sentence carried so much meaning & revealed so much about the character or setting or history. I was so taken in by how she would describe how a character was taking off their shoes with one hand and looking at envelopes with the other. She describes their dressing, their little movements, their anxieties and it really tunnelled you deeply into each character that when they moved or did something further into the story, you didn't need any speech from them, or any description from the author to confirm how they were feeling or how significant it was. And if they did speak, there's a feeling that a little explosion has been set off in the story. Even something simple like "our baby was a boy", or "could I drive all the way to Calcutta? How long would that take, Eliot?"

The stories I liked most were A Temporary Matter, Interpreter of Maladies, Sexy, and Mrs Sen's. Glad I own this book and can always turn to it. ( )
  verkur | Jan 8, 2021 |
I liked some of the stories in this book, but it wouldn't ever have occurred to me that they were Pulitzer material if the shiny seal on the cover hadn't advertised the fact. I dog-eared "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine," "Mrs. Sen's," and "The Third and Final Continent," which I guess suggests that I have a thing for the stories in which people reach across boundaries of age and nation to offer solace to one another ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Es dificil darle una puntuacion global a un libro de historias cortas.
Me gustaron mucho la primera y la ultima historia, otras me parecieron buenas otras regulares.

Hay muchas mujeres protagonistas o si no familias o parejas. La mayoria viven en India o han imigrado a Estados Unidos o son hijos de imigrantes.

Lo mas interesante fue aprender sobre la cultura y costumbres de los diversos protagonistas. ( )
  trusmis | Nov 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
In this accomplished collection of stories, Jhumpa Lahiri traces the lives of people on two continents -- North America and India -- and in doing so announces herself as a wonderfully distinctive new voice. Indeed, Ms. Lahiri's prose is so eloquent and assured that the reader easily forgets that ''Interpreter of Maladies'' is a young writer's first book.

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jhumpa Lahiriprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cooley, StevenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahlström, EvaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emeis, MarijkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Overholtzer, RobertDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sjöstrand, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my parents and for my sister
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The notice informed them that it was a temporary matter: for five days their electricity would be cut off for one hour, beginning at eight P.M.
While the astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this new world for nearly thirty years. I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from home, and I am certainly not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.
As stunned as I was, I knew what I had to say. With no hesitation at all, I cried out, "Splendid!"
In fact, the only thing that appeared three-dimensional about Boori Ma was her voice: brittle with sorrows, as tart as curds, and shrill enough to grate meat from a coconut.
He wondered if Mr. and Mrs. Das were a bad match, just as he and his wife were. Perhaps they, too, had little in common apart from three children and a decade of their lives. The signs he recognized from his own marriage were there--the bickering, the indifference, the protracted silences.
In its own way this correspondence would fulfill his dream, of serving as an interpreter between nations.
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Stories about Indians in India and America. The story, A Temporary Matter, is on mixed marriage, Mrs. Sen's is on the adaptation of an immigrant to the U.S., and in the title story an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors.

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Book description
A Temporary Matter -- When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine -- Interpreter of Maladies -- A Real Durwan -- Sexy -- This Blessed House -- The Treatment of Bibi Haldar -- The Third and Final Continent
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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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