Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Interpreter Of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter Of Maladies (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Jhumpa Lahiri

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,941191336 (4.09)243
Title:Interpreter Of Maladies
Authors:Jhumpa Lahiri
Info:Turtleback (1999), School & Library Binding, 198 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:cultural fiction

Work details

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 243 mentions

English (183)  Catalan (3)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All (1)  Spanish (1)  All (190)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
I was surprised how much I liked this book because I read The Namesake several years ago and really disliked it. But these stories are deft, subtle, and often sweet. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Ingenious, moving, hilarious, painful, amusing: these stories surprise in their variety. I especially liked Sexy because of the ingenious way the author confronted the main person with the consequences of her deeds. This Blessed House is a really funny story, completely different from the others. The characters in the stories are always real and intriguing. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Fabulous Read. The descriptions are realistic and she has her own style of developing scenes from description of material aspects. ( )
  pjulian | Jan 4, 2017 |
I loved this short story collection.

I feel like short stories, as a medium, are pretty underrated, even though this book deserves all the hype (Pulitzer Prize and all.)

This is a powerful collection of short stories about the Indian-American immigrant experience. I loved how Lahiri could construct such a vivid atmosphere with so few words.

In each story, she has a different narrator and so it's so interesting to see how she writes each voice. Lahiri is an absolute master of her craft and it was awesome for me, as an aspiring writer, to see how she led each story.

She provides beautiful vivid descriptions of colours and tastes and textures. This book will make you miss a home you've never had, and make you want to travel to places you've never been. She takes the commonplace and makes it alluring and a little bit melancholy.

Lahiri talks about food in a way that makes me hungry. She talks about loneliness and love in a way that makes it tangible. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Contemplative, exquisite, and silently powerful, Lahiri has produced a selection of short stories that jump between the lands of India and America, threading each narrative with delicate heartbreak. Heartbreak -- that is what lies at the heart of Interpreter of Maladies, in which there are nine carefully crafted stories, most of which concern immigrant life experiences.

Lahiri's prose is tasteful. It is effortless and skilled, and as Michiko Kakutani writes on the back cover, "so eloquent and assured that the reader easily forgets [this] is a young writer's first book". Yet what managed to capture my attention was not so much the stylistic elements as it was Lahiri's focus on the in between. The gap between people's hearts, the distance between retired, aging parents and their children studying abroad, the spaces between memories -- all of these are captured beautifully in Interpreter of Maladies, where the reader is left feeling humbled and aching. ( )
  biblio-empire | Aug 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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
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 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
28 avail.
117 wanted
2 pay6 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.09)
1 13
1.5 7
2 67
2.5 25
3 370
3.5 92
4 947
4.5 150
5 803


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

» Publisher information page


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 0 books! | Top bar: Always visible