Review – Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies  by Jhumpa Lahiri

From the back cover –

Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this stunning debut collection unerringly charts the emotional journey of characters seeking love beyond the barrier of nations and generations.  “A writer of uncommon sensitivity and restraint… Ms. Lahiri expertly captures the out-of-context lives of immigrants, expatriates, and first-generation Americans” (Wall Street Journal).  In stories that travel from India to America and back again, Lahiri speaks with universal eloquence to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner.  Honored as “Debut of the Year” by The New Yorker and winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, Interpreter of Maladies introduces a young writer of astonishing maturity and insight who “breathes unpredictable life into the page” (New York Times).

My thoughts –

I typically do not go for short story collections, but I picked this one up because I absolutely fell in love with Lahiri’s novel, The Namesake (read this book, people… it’s really good).  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I truly enjoyed (most of) the stories in this little book.  Lahiri truly writes characters that a person can care about… even in a 15-page story, I found myself becoming so immersed in these characters’ lives, and really caring about the issues they were dealing with.  Some of my favorite stories in this collection were “A Temporary Matter”, in which a young Indian-American couple is dealing with the heartbreaking aftermath of a stillborn baby and the deterioration of their relationship because of that, “Sexy”, which reminded me of an Indian version of the book Shopgirl by Steve Martin, and “This Blessed House”, in which an Indian-American couple, married for only four months and just getting to know each other as their union was the result of an arranged marriage, entertaines some friends for a housewarming party.  Some of the other stories I didn’t enjoy as much, but I was still able to appreciate the characters in every one.  I highly recommend this collection, and am looking forward to reading Lahiri’s latest book, Unaccustomed Earth.

9 stars.

Also reviewed by: A Devoted Reader, Raych at books i done read, Nymeth at Things Mean A Lot, and Lisa at Books on the Brain


9 thoughts on “Review – Interpreter of Maladies”

  1. Loved your review! This collection actually reminded me of why I (sometimes) love short stories… Loved The Namesake, too — and enjoyed the movie even though it emphasized the mother more than the son…

  2. “A Temporary Matter” and “Sexy” are 2 of my favorites from this collection, as well. I haven’t read The Namesake or Unaccustomed Earth, but both are on my list.

  3. This is the first time I have heard of the book, and it sounds really interesting! I don’t often read short stories, but I think they would be great for summer travelling!

  4. Also, thanks for the link to my review. I found Unaccustomed Earth at least as good and am glad to hear The Namesake is also an enjoyable read, as it’s in my TBR pile.

  5. I’m not big on short story collections, but this one sounds good. I’m especially interested in “A Temporary Matter,” given that my sister’s son was stillborn last year. Thanks for the review!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s