20 May 2009

interpreter of maladies - jhumpa lahiri

jhumpa lahiri || interpreter of maladies || 5.0/5.0

i really loved the namesake, lahiri's second work, and so have been looking forward to interpreter of maladies for a long while. i wasn't disappointed!

first, i was pleasantly surprised that the book is not a novel, but a collection of nine short stories. i've not read too many short stories, but i really enjoyed the format and look forward to discovering more. i've heard stephen king has really excellent short story collections.

i think i enjoyed interpreter of maladies more than the namesake, though i couldn't put my finger on why. each of the stories is unique, but they share a common threat of raw humanity. some are heartbreakingly sad; others are warm and uplifting. all share a realness that i think is lahiri's true talent - she uses astute details to sculpt incredibly human and relatable characters.

the stories themselves are but well-written vessels through which these characters arc. a must-read, in my book, and the 2000 winner of the pulitzer prize.

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