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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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9,620215445 (4.08)1 / 286
Member:sinetheta
Title:Interpreter of Maladies
Authors:Jhumpa Lahiri
Info:Mariner Books (1999), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 198 pages
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Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)

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English (205)  Catalan (4)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (214)
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
An amazing collection of short stories. A good read on your own, or with a book club. I wanted several of the stories to be novels. ( )
  nittnut | Sep 5, 2018 |
The short story collection is new ground for me. I enjoyed this book though. I really like the author and the perspective her characters bring. ( )
  CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
I really appreciated all of the short stories in this book. Definitely gave me some knowledge and insight into a culture I am otherwise mostly ignorant of. I will be looking to learn more. As for the writing, I loved the ordinary observations Lahiri wove into the overall theme of each chapter/the book. Great read. ( )
  kristilabrie | Jul 18, 2018 |
It is rare that a short story can have a deeply emotional connection for me, so I was not surprised to find that, while all these stories are quite good, they did not leave me awed as some had promised. I think it is the limited space that makes it so difficult. Every word must count and every action carry forward an emotion, that is not an easy thing to achieve.

I did particularly like Sexy and A Temporary Matter. The first was about an extra-marital affair and the effect it produces on both the mistress and the victims on the other side (wife and children). How simple it is to commit adultery if you do not consider the other human beings you are injuring. The other a look at a marriage in trouble and affected by loss and how mistaken we can be about what the other person is feeling.

If you do enjoy short stories, it is a good collection and one that has received high praise (not to mention a Pulitzer Prize).

( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
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:
Sexy
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 | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 205 (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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Dedication
For my parents and for my sister
First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:53 -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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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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