Interpreter of maladies and Unaccustomed earth

Written on 6:43 PM by Tushar Thole

Jhumpa Lahiri is phenomenal as an author!

'Interpreter of Maladies' totally deserves the Pulitzer Prize which it received in 2000. Stories in both books deal with 'an immigrant experience' something which I'm personally going through. Characters in her stories are mostly (Bengali) Indian immigrants and are torn due to cultural differences between their native land and US. After reading Wikipedia
entry on her, I realized that protagonist in her stories is mostly inspired by her personal life. Jhumpa's parents moved to US when she was three. Her family kept visiting Calcutta every summer. She changed her name from Nilanajana to Jhumpa as she thought it was too embarrassing (?).Remember Gogol Ganguly from her novel ‘The namesake’?

It is often said that Jhumpa portrays lives of Indian immigrants as dull. After reading her book I can say that this accusation holds water.But even though her characters are not leading a very colorful life a reader can easily relate with them.For me, transition to US(the country and its culture) came naturally but when my parents paid me a visit a couple of months back I was trying really hard to keep them engaged in something or the other so that they would not feel bored or more importantly “out of the place”. I had made a plan for every weekend and successfully executed it as well. In hindsight such a scheme will work for a couple of months or even for a year. But what if they have to move here permanently leaving their motherland or karma bhoomi behind? Will that transition be easy for them? May be since I had these thoughts running in my head while reading these books I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Highly recommended!

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