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Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter of Maladies (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Jhumpa Lahiri

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8,421179368 (4.09)218
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 (171)  Catalan (3)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (178)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
I always prefer short story collections to novels, and this definitely beat [b:The Namesake|33917|The Namesake|Jhumpa Lahiri|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1411071759s/33917.jpg|16171] for me. She has a very unique voice telling stories of cultural transplants that both Indians and Americans can understand and enjoy. These stories enraptured me with their deep subtle style. They show our humanity in the face of war, distance, and alienation. ( )
  Victor_A_Davis | Sep 18, 2015 |
These stories had a balance of power and gentleness that is hard to describe. While the reader knows the living conditions of some of the characters must have been tough, it is the relationships between people that rounds the edges of the stories and endears them to the reader. For instance, the last story is about a woman that suffers epileptic seizures. Her friends have tried all kinds of remedies to help her but it takes an off-camera rape and the birth of a child to cure her and allow her to become a fully vested citizen. ( )
  mamzel | Sep 10, 2015 |
What do you say when a work that is widely liked and highly celebrated doesn't do for you what it did for others? What I do is slap a three-star rating on it and write a review that expresses my confusion without saying anything positive or negative about the book. In fact, such a review really doesn't even say much about the book. It's just a ho-hum review for a ho-hum book. At least the book in this case, The Interpreter of Maladies, was written beautifully; I can't say as much for this review. ( )
  chrisblocker | Aug 28, 2015 |
What a nice collection of stories. Stories of the every day life of people frim India, living in other countries. Facing sorrow, seperation of family and loved ones, trying to find a place in the new society.
In general I'm not a big fan of short stories, these I liked, however. The three that appealed most are (in book order): A Temoprary Matter, Interpreter of Maladies and Mrs. Sen's. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jul 4, 2015 |
I remember the buzz about this book when it came out a decade ago, but somehow never got around to reading it until yesterday/today. I really enjoyed these stories. ( )
1 vote Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (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 editionsconfirmed
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
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.
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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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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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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