Interpreter of Maladies


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Program 8 November 2020: Jhumpa Lahiri: I Belong to Italian

- Size: 20 (L) x 13 (W) cm 

- Binding: softcover, 198 pages

- Language: English

- Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

- Publisher: 4th Estate, 2019 / Flamingo, 2000

Pulitzer-winning, scintillating studies in yearning and exile from a Bengali Bostonian woman of immense promise.

A couple exchange unprecedented confessions during nightly blackouts in their Boston apartment as they struggle to cope with a heartbreaking loss; a student arrives in new lodgings in a mystifying new land and, while he awaits the arrival of his arranged-marriage wife from Bengal, he finds his first bearings with the aid of the curious evening rituals that his centenarian landlady orchestrates; a schoolboy looks on while his childminder finds that the smallest dislocation can unbalance her new American life all too easily and send her spiralling into nostalgia for her homeland…

Jhumpa Lahiri’s prose is beautifully measured, subtle and sober, and she is a writer who leaves a lot unsaid, but this work is rich in observational detail, evocative of the yearnings of the exile (mostly Indians in Boston here), and full of emotional pull and reverberation.