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Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
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Interpreter of Maladies (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Jhumpa Lahiri

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8,239171380 (4.09)206
Member:DetailMuse
Title:Interpreter of Maladies
Authors:Jhumpa Lahiri
Info:Mariner Books (1999), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction, Short Stories, India

Work details

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)

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» See also 206 mentions

English (163)  Catalan (3)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (170)
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
This is a beautiful collection of short stories. Each one is nearly perfect. Lahiri writes characters very well, and her stories provide a wonderful insight into Indian and Indian immigrant culture. If there is a theme, it seems to be about loss or disappointed expectations, particularly in marriage and family relationships. Even though some of the stories were sad, the tone never came across as bleak or hopeless. In that way, they rang very true to life for me.

Read for book club (2015). ( )
1 vote sturlington | Mar 15, 2015 |
The stories "When Mr. Prizada Came to Dine," "A Real Durwan," "The Treatment of Bibi Haldar," and "The Third and Final Continent" would be most useful in a high school ELA classroom. "When Mr. Prizada Came to Dine" and "The Third and Final Continent" both explore the immigrant experience of Indians in America, while "A Real Durwan" and "The Treatment of Bibi Halder" are set in India and would therefore be useful in exploring Indian culture and societal norms, particularly from the female point of view. "When Mr. Prizada Came to Dine" would fit nicely into a historical perspective approach as it lends itself to exploration of India-Pakistan relations. ( )
  Tables | Feb 24, 2015 |
I loved several of these short stories (including the first two, which was what sucked me in!) and found the writing to be beautiful and evocative throughout. Several of them (the titular "Interpreter of Maladies", "A Real Durwan", "Mrs. Sen's") were a bit too bitter/unresolved for me to really *enjoy*, but they have continued to ripple through my thoughts, and I think perhaps I need a bit more time to fully decide how I feel about them. My overall favorites were "This Blessed House" and "The Third and Final Continent." ( )
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
A quick read, easily completed in a weekend. Although I'm not a big fan of short stories, I did enjoy this collection. The stories are all a little sad (as short stories seem destined to be), but no so much that they depressed me. The emotions were bittersweet, not melodramatic. Each story featured Indian food in some capacity, as a symbol of emotional bonding, and I was perpetually craving curry, samosas, and various other dishes described! A nice look at Indian culture from various perspectives. ( )
  dulcinea14 | Sep 18, 2014 |
Enjoying the moment, the simple moments that can change ones life is what this book is about. We join a journey where we experience a moment in time, doing something the characters may have done daily or even hourly, yet one day something clicks and a new outlook, a new thought, a new idea sparks and this, a simple moment, arrives and changes a life. Lahiri writes beautifully making me feel those moments that can change one's world. ( )
1 vote Marensherry | Sep 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (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 (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jhumpa Lahiriprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cooley, StevenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahlström, EvaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emeis, MarijkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayden, Melissasecondary 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.
Quotations
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. Perhapts 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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Book description
CONTENTS:
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
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 039592720X, Paperback)

Mr. Kapasi, the protagonist of Jhumpa Lahiri's title story, would certainly have his work cut out for him if he were forced to interpret the maladies of all the characters in this eloquent debut collection. Take, for example, Shoba and Shukumar, the young couple in "A Temporary Matter" whose marriage is crumbling in the wake of a stillborn child. Or Miranda in "Sexy," who is involved in a hopeless affair with a married man. But Mr. Kapasi has problems enough of his own; in addition to his regular job working as an interpreter for a doctor who does not speak his patients' language, he also drives tourists to local sites of interest. His fare on this particular day is Mr. and Mrs. Das--first-generation Americans of Indian descent--and their children. During the course of the afternoon, Mr. Kapasi becomes enamored of Mrs. Das and then becomes her unwilling confidant when she reads too much into his profession. "I told you because of your talents," she informs him after divulging a startling secret.
I'm tired of feeling so terrible all the time. Eight years, Mr. Kapasi, I've been in pain eight years. I was hoping you could help me feel better; say the right thing. Suggest some kind of remedy.
Of course, Mr. Kapasi has no cure for what ails Mrs. Das--or himself. Lahiri's subtle, bittersweet ending is characteristic of the collection as a whole. Some of these nine tales are set in India, others in the United States, and most concern characters of Indian heritage. Yet the situations Lahiri's people face, from unhappy marriages to civil war, transcend ethnicity. As the narrator of the last story, "The Third and Final Continent," comments: "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." In that single line Jhumpa Lahiri sums up a universal experience, one that applies to all who have grown up, left home, fallen in or out of love, and, above all, experienced what it means to be a foreigner, even within one's own family. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:12 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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