Saturday, January 13, 2007

Interpreter of Maladies

My sister, the librarian, tries to read all the Pulitzer Prize-winning novels (this, in addition to her quest to see all the "Best Picture" Oscar winners). I've always thought that admirable, but never had any urge. Perhaps I feared the books would be too obtuse? Well, after reading Interpreter of Maladies, I could change my mind. This debut collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri won a bunch of prizes, including the 2000 Pulitzer for fiction.

After reading one per night, I enjoyed each and every story so much that I'm not sure I could name a favorite. The title story is set in the state of Orissa in India, where I spent much of my time when I was there three years ago. The couple travel to the sun temple in Konarak, which I was lucky to visit, and the story brought back memories.

But even if you have not been to India, Lahiri's stories can take you there--or to the minds of her usually Indian-American characters. My friend Jenny (who is starting an international book group that meets at a restaurant of the setting of the book--I would have loved to discuss this over a samosa!) said the first story, "A Temporary Matter," really struck her. It's about a young couple having marital trouble (and infertility, of course! I can't get away from it!)

If I had to pick my favorite, it would be "This Blessed House," about the Indian couple who disagree about what to do with all the tacky Christian images and tchotchkes they keep finding in their new house. It portrays the tension between two people just starting to live together, but also this young woman's (named Twinkle) openness to whatever happens. "Each day is like a treasure hunt!" she tells a friend. The ending is bittersweet (like most in the book) and you're not clear if this couple is going to make it. But the fact that the house seems to be "blessed" bodes well, I think.

After enjoying this so much, I think I'll put Lahiri's novel The Namesake on my list.

20 Comments:

At 12:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea!!! You're posting on the book blog again! One minor correction: While I'm sure the Pulitzer winners are great (and I'm guessing as a journalist you're partial to Pulitzer), it's the National Book Award winners I read. The last one I read was "The News from Paraguay" and it was really good. I'd tell you more about it, but it's too late and I need to get to sleep! Love, Amy

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Renee said...

Oh, you've GOT to read The Namesake. It was one of the best books I've read in the past couple of years. It was one of those reads that I just could not put down.

 
At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

I'm blown away. I just found your blog courtesy of Apron Thrift Girl and had to pop over because of your desire for a Chicago Bungalow. My most favorite style...I lived there for many years. Then read your profile and saw that you're adopting (my husband and I almost did Vietnam, but decided to put it all on hold for a little longer)...then I saw the link to your book blog and almost passed out when I saw Interpreter of Maladies, which is the first book to ever help me appreciate the art of a short story. Twinkle is my favorite character. I love that story. I'll be back to see more snapshots of my own life!

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger f. pea said...

Definitely read the Pulitzer winners - and the Pulitzer nominees! I think they're the best fiction going. Now those National Book Award winners... that's where we get a bit obtuse. And depressing. I tend to stay away from them. They're like the smart friends you can't stand to have over for dinner because they get very drunk and tell these horribly depressing stories about their families. Then you find out later they made it all up.

 
At 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this competitive world, news information is like knowledge recourses that educate us about various world wide
activities and the activity within the society, even in the surrounding etc.
If the news channels telecast from all over the
world, it is termed as world news. ' They always intend to take public view on variousu topics.

My website ... 2createablogsite.com

 
At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Information that informs the public and makes them good citizens is the kind of
quality information that one can be proud to call news, and if it ever goes completely out of style, may the Lord help us,
for it will be the end of civilization as we know it.
I have more stuffings in me from yesterday than I care
to think about. If a person is connected with the latest headlines, it will
develop an awareness in him with regards to the world which surrounds him.


my webpage: Latest Daily News

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only will they have cool items to add to Myspace, they will learn something
about our country in the process. For example,
we often do some driving trains to encourage the students to speak a few numbers in turn.
There are a few selections of these to choose from on this site too.


Here is my blog; Http://Lookingforarrangement.Com/ADOBonnie

 
At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you please send by e-mail me the code for this script or
please tell me in detail in relation to this script?

Here is my homepage: Read Even more

 
At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to understand
a lot about this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something.
I think that you just could do with a few % to force the message house a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

Here is my webpage biotechnologyreview.net

 
At 3:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just go through the internet and discover the best source
to get all these humorous images. They are no different
than us, as people who are loved and cherished by thier families.

By looking at funny pictures and funny dog videos on the internet, the hours
will slip away easily.

Also visit my web blog - cute funny pictures and quotes

 
At 6:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For example, I want to lose 5 pounds of fat by February 25th.
This means you have to answer to all these people when they ask for a report.

The problem is that many do not follow through with their fitness
plans and thus fail within the first 3 months of starting a new fitness plan or routine.


Take a look at my website - http://jaytraders.com

 
At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, how are things? I just shared this information
along with a coworker, we had a proper laugh.

My site; ovglife.com

 
At 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Far too many children become the victims of abuse, neglect, or
abandonment and then sadly, often they become wards of the court who will eventually determine their fate.
The effects of what they see, read and hear are having a devastating affect on our society today.
Committee on Gulf War and Health: Health Effects of Serving in the
Gulf War, Update 2009.

my site ... Latest Daily News

 
At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paragraph writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with then you can write or else it is
complicated to write.

Also visit my web blog click the following page

 
At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Internet is the biggest server of fun with a
lot of variety. For example, we often do some driving trains to encourage the students to speak a few numbers in turn.
Use old fabric to create puppets, monsters, and any other
creatures that your child can imagine.

Also visit my site - just click for source

 
At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very often, these people give up before giving the program a
real chance to work. Men can follow these health and
fitness tips to lose weight and get healthy and fit.
Remember; there is a difference between a fattening diet and a healthy
diet.

Look into my blog: http://babykick.com/SWJDeanna

 
At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe you look at it from a monetary standpoint and decide that Guy
Ritchie and Madonna divorce was worse because they were married
so long and have children and there is a lot of money involved.
However there are several troubleshooting steps
you need to perform in order to determine the problem.
As a consequence it can be contended the media is directing many persons astray moving away from
what should be its aim of presenting discerning news and
analytic thinking of pressing topics for this
celebrity frippery.

Also visit my webpage :: latest celeb news

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So just like others, if a person has interest in the fresh
news updates, he can surely give a preference to
online medium for getting familiarity with these
topics. A person needs to have an active internet connection to be able to access all the headlines and information on internet.
You can only visit once a day and there is no
guarantee that you will get anything from it but as I always say,
free is free.

Stop by my blog post :: Latest Daily News

 
At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here again you want to find or even create an angle or slant in which you
can take headline news and 'incorporate' it into a post you are composing.
Talking of the walking dead, congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who is getting married at age 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris.
He covers gossip on celebrities, actors and musicians.


My website :: http://wetfouru.com/profile/allenpritc

 
At 1:37 AM, Blogger sadhana said...

Astrologer in Hyderabad

Astrologer in Bangalore

Astrologer in Chennai

Astrologer in Mumbai

Astrologer in Delhi

Astrologer in Kolkata

 

Post a Comment

<< Home