more books (Jhumpa Lahiri)…

June 8, 2009 at 10:55 am 4 comments

imagesAn interlude from the angst of deconversion, and a reflection on one of life’s small pleasures.

I can’t believe I forgot to include these on my page of books I read during the last year:
Short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri:
Interpreter of Maladies (re-read for the nth time)
Unaccustomed Earth

I also read Lahiri’s novel, The Namesake, a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, but not as much as her short stories. I love short stories though, so I’m biased. If you haven’t read her work I would definitely recommend starting with Interpreter of Maladies. I heard her read part of a story from there on the radio a few years ago and was immediately hooked.

Lahiri writes mostly, but not entirely, about the experience of immigrants from India and their children’s experiences growing up as first-generation people in their new countries. Her stories are wonderful and she writes perfectly. I could go on and on. She writes with an amazing attention to detail to bring her fictional characters to life. Lots of odd little details and thoughts that somehow communicate subtle nuances of human experience very well. You end up feeling you know the characters better than people in real life.

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Entry filed under: books.

it takes courage… my heart is hard

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sabio Lantz  |  June 8, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Wow, we must be brothers separated at birth. I read 1/2 of Unaccustomed Earth during a trip to Mexico (of all places) about 1 month ago. I loved it. Mind you I lived in Pakistan and India for almost 2 years total and spoke both Hindi and Urdu, but her writing does not demand any of that for how simply it catches human feelings. And her plot subtly traps your heart strings. Nice break from deconversion — or maybe not. How can someone read these sort of works and not realize how all of us struggle with the same feelings, strengths and weaknesses. How can one encounter people of such different beliefs but similar hearts and not realize that our beliefs are mere clothing for our souls.

  • 2. atimetorend  |  June 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Nice point, the nature of her writing makes the stuff of religion fade into the background and the shared experience as humans come to the forefront.

  • 3. mmmarty  |  June 10, 2009 at 10:18 am

    mmm very keen to read this! at the moment reading Desertion by Abdulrazak Gurnah, which also reflects similar points about different beliefs but similar hearts :)

  • 4. atimetorend  |  June 10, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Thanks, sounds like a good read, and:
    Fiction Room, Fiction Gurnah, Checked In
    …at my local library.

    Have you read, “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” by Alexandra Fuller? It is a fascinating story, racist expatriate culture and the coming of Independence for the countries they lived in.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Lets-Dogs-Tonight-Childhood/dp/0375758992/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244645152&sr=8-1

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