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Interpreter of Maladies (1999)

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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11,132240488 (4.09)1 / 336
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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English (229)  Catalan (4)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (239)
Showing 1-5 of 229 (next | show all)
This is a collection of nine short stories about Indians and Bengalis, set mostly in the 1960s. Some of the stories are set in India or Bengali, other stories are set in the U.S. and concern first generation Indian/Bengali immigrants. These Indian/Bengali characters eat a lot of Indian food that are laid out in detail and in their unique exotic names. Their clothing, furniture, style of dress.....overall way of living are described enthusiastically and play an important part as the setting for the plot to unfold. You get to live as part of that culture for a while. Three of the stories are sad, five are ambiguous, and I think only one story has a happy ending. My favorite is the one with the happy ending. (I don't think I would have given the book the five stars without the one with the happy ending :P ) ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
A collection of short stories that really make you think.The language used is rather interesting.Many subtle issues are being taken care of in this single book that reading it was really worthwhile.Also the endings of each of the short stories,even though not abrupt is without any twists or climaxes and that was a welcome change ( )
  Linnabraham | Jan 6, 2022 |
After the last two heavy non-fiction books I read, I thought needed something fluffy. I wandered through the library, nothing really jumping out at me, and saw this at the end of a shelf. Knew nothing of this book. Decided to try it, but had low expectations since it won a Pulitzer, and sometimes Pulitzer-winning fiction tends to be a bit dry or esoteric for me. Not exactly fluffy, and neither was this book.

It was amazing. I loved it. Each story pulled me in quickly, and most impressive, I felt complete at the end of each story--I didn't wonder "what happened next" to the characters. Loved. It. ( )
  ms_rowse | Jan 1, 2022 |
Although marriage and relationships seem to be the prominent theme in Lahiri’s collection of stories, it was the background of immigrant’s experience that affected me the most.

Her writing is uncomplicated and straightforward, which belies the emotional and psychological impact of her stories and character’s struggles. As an immigrant, there was so much that was relatable, but you don’t have to be an immigrant to appreciate her grasp of interpersonal struggles.
Just a quick note that I’m ok with ambivalent or sad endings, but this collection may be a struggle for those who prefer tidy endings…still…even if annoyed or upset at the lack of resolution, definitely a wonderful read. ( )
  Eosch1 | Dec 30, 2021 |
Short stories-book club ( )
  SBG1962 | Sep 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 229 (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
Lahiri, Jhumpaprimary 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
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. 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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1.5 5
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3.5 108
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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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