American Lit · Indian lit · Short Stories

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

“Whenever he is discouraged, I tell him that if I can survive on three continents then there is no obstacle he cannot conquer,”

This is one of those books that I put off reading for unknown reasons. I didn’t even realize it was a collection of short stories until I began reading it properly!

I have never really properly explored fiction which crosses Indian and American ideologies before. This book of short stories was a joy to read. Each story was so very well written but after I read all the stories I think my two favourites were “A Temporary Matter” and “The Third and Final Continent”. I found out about this book through a Top 100 books to make you cry list (you know the sort of lists I’m talking about!). While I wasn’t a useless lump of tears and snot, I did feel incredibly emotionally moved by the stories.

My only venture into short stories has only been through reading Chekhov or some indifferent short stories from a text book for my GCSE English literature exam (back in 2011 – it seems like only yesterday). The way the two parallel societies of India and America were fascinatingly wrought and the narratives felt so fleshed out even though the stories were in themselves rather brief.

If you want to explore Indian-American literature, I think this is the perfect book to start from. It is such a relief to find a good book after previously reading books which didn’t thrill me or make me want to discover more from that particular genre. All of these stories are to do with the bonds of family and cultural heritage.

A rare gem. I highly recommend this book.

MY RATING: **** / *****

“As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination,”

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4 thoughts on “Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

  1. Honestly such a great book! I agree that it’s a start for beginners getting into Indian-American literature and gives insight! liked your post 🙂

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