Book Review: Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri has a new fan in me. Yesterday I completed “Interpreter of Maladies” by her. It is the book for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000. It is a collection of nine short stories.

All the stories are very simple, no suspense and no fast paced narration – just day-to-day lives of normal people, people whom you may pass on the road and rarely give a second glance. Every detail seems to be sketched in the author’s mind when she writes, and she has the ability to etch those details on the reader’s mind. While reading the book I felt transported to the location of the story, I empathized with the protagonist.

You can feel Mr. Kapasi’s dilemma on hearing the revelations by Mrs. Das [Interpreter of Maladies]. You feel anguished for Mr. Pirzada [When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine]. You feel Sanjeev’s irritation [This Blessed House] and Mrs. Sen’s helplessness [Mrs. Sen’s] and Shoba and Shukumar’s pain [A Temporary Matter]. But of the nine short stories, my favourite is “The Third and Final Continent“. The story of one simple guy across three continents, several decades, and one simple laugh with a century old lady is brilliant and touching.


5 Responses to “Book Review: Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri”

  1. 1 mythalez April 6, 2007 at 3:59 am

    hmm .. but i still feel that the book is over rated :D.
    maybe i expected a bit more from a pulitzer winner ..

  2. 2 Sreejith April 6, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    i did read this book 4-5 months back and found it really absorbing, but amazingly, and very unlike me, i am unable to remember even a single story now! probably time to read them again ๐Ÿ™‚ i’ll recommend ‘A Fine Balance’ by Rohinton Mistry.

  3. 3 kis April 6, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    I have read the book. But, I dont rmr anything at all.. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. 4 kis April 6, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Same story as Unni I guess.

  5. 5 Kunal April 9, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    rama, actually I was quite satisfied with the book. The way the author was able to get emotions out of the reader is exemplary…

    sreejith, are you alive? do you have a blog? do you blog? ๐Ÿ˜€ and thanks for the suggestion, I’ll try out that book ….

    sumanth, seems so … and like unni read it again ๐Ÿ™‚

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I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

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