My Rating – 4/5
“Whenever he is discouraged, I tell him that if I can survive on three continents, then there is no obstacle he cannot conquer. 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 certainly I am 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.“
– Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.
I recently heard about this book from my cousin-in-law. She insisted that I should read it. I noted it down in my reading list and decided that since I was going for a short beach vacation, I will take this book with me to read there. I’m so glad I did! This book will make you get lost in itself and completely forget the essence of time.
Let me start by saying that Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of nine short stories. Published in 1999, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in the year 2000.
If I were to describe the effect of these stories in a single word, it would be feeling “melancholy”. The stories are slow to unfold, poetic, and have a beautiful, profound sadness about them that leaves the reader sighing in nostalgic sorrow at the end. Through her stories, Jhumpa Lahiri, has captured a universal experience of growing up, dealing with marriage and relationships, leaving home in pursuit of a better future, falling in or out of love, and above all, experiencing what it means to be an immigrant in another country.
I really loved seven out of the nine stories and the rest three found to be passable. My favorite top three are:
A Temporary Matter
The Interpreter of Maladies
The third and final continent
If you are a lover of short stories and cannot commit to a complete novel, you will definitely love this book! Let me know what you think of it.
Happy Reading! ❤️