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Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
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Interpreter of Maladies (1999)

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9,743220445 (4.08)1 / 288
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English (209)  Catalan (4)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (218)
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
This is a collection of short stories. Each story is about an Indian family that has to balance traditions with the modern world. There is a story of a couple who struggles in the wake of a stillborn child. Another about a woman who is having an affair with a married man. An interpreter who works for a doctor but also drives tourist around India. Another about a young woman with seizures that no one can find a husband for (yet this is all she wants). A family who watches the war in India and Pakistan on TV - worrying about their families still in those countries. And many more.



This was a pretty good book. Most of the stories are short and entertaining. They are well written, even though some of the stories end abruptly and go no where. I didn't like it as well as her other books, but I am glad I read it. It only took a few hours to read.



I would recommend it. If you like her other books, you may enjoy this one. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
pretty damn great ( )
1 vote areviewer | Dec 30, 2018 |
These short stories are mainly set in America, but sometimes in India, and feature mostly Indian-Americans, but sometimes Indians. I found them moving and gentle, although fairly sad. They made me want to try mustard oil! ( )
  pgchuis | Dec 28, 2018 |
Amazing and beautiful. Favorites: When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine, Mrs. Sen's, The Third and Final Continent ( )
  inescapableabby | Nov 28, 2018 |
Excellent collection of stories characterizing the lives of Indian and Indian-Americans who try to make their world work despite living at times in conflicting worlds. I was particularly fond of Mr. Pirzada, the charming misfit who touched a young girl's heart by reaching out to her in a simple, sweet, old-fashioned fashion. Reminded me of my Danish great-uncle who I loved dearly as much because of his quirks as anything else. ( )
  AliceAnna | Nov 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 209 (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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Epigraph
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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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)

» 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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