Interpreter of Maladies


Lahiri, Jhumpa

Book - 1999
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Interpreter of Maladies
Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In "A Temporary Matter," published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant. She is an important and powerful new voice.

Baker & Taylor
A debut collection of short fiction blends elements of Indian traditions with the complexities of American culture in such tales as "A Temporary Matter," in which a young Indian-American couple confronts their grief over the loss of a child, while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. Original. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1999
ISBN: 039592720X
Branch Call Number: FIC L
Characteristics: 198 p. ; 21 cm.


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Jan 10, 2015
  • Cas22 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

If one of the main reasons for reading is to experience lives other than our own, then Jhumpa Lahiri's short stories succeed admirably. We are given intimate and vivid glimpses of the lives of Indians both in the USA and in their mother country. But, if much of the joy of reading comes from a well-rounded tale with a satisfying ending, then the author doesn't always deliver.

Aug 03, 2014
  • modestgoddess rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

While I did enjoy these stories, I felt that none lived up to the promise of the very first tale in the book. Such an amazing story, engagingly told. Nothing else in the book touched it, for me anyway, though I did enjoy the other stories. Would recommend this collection - a good read.

Mar 05, 2014
  • madison382 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

These are some really good short stories.

Jan 08, 2014
  • sbkaur rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

After 4-5 stories, there is a dull ache for the reader. Great writing, but a sameness to the characters and themes.

Dec 28, 2013
  • msmigels rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Ms. Lahiri’s stories are absorbing and her plots elegantly constructed; she has the ability to create masterful stories using such unlikely contexts. As I finished most of them, I wished each story had been developed into a whole novel.

Dec 26, 2013
  • rmbelyea rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

.Wonderful collection of short stories! My book club enjoyed discussing how the stories made us think about being an outsider, the great circle of life and finding hope & forgiveness. Not to mention some unforgettable characters!

Aug 16, 2012
  • pplarel rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loaned to me by a coworker. Don't normally enjoy short stories, but these were great. Really touching, amazing writing.

Sep 10, 2011

September 2005

Oct 14, 2010
  • ewakk rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent, very intricate writing. Enjoyed it immensely.

Jan 07, 2009

A very good collection of short stories. My favorite story is the first one. It touched my heart.

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Mar 14, 2008
  • Hadley rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.


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Dec 26, 2013
  • rmbelyea rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"How about telling each other something we've never told before." (from A Temporary Matter)


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