Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: "Interpreter of Maladies"


BOOK REVIEW “Interpreter of Maladies”

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Genre: Short Stories

Language: English

Pages: 198

Cost: 295 Rs.

Publisher: Harper Collins

First Published: 1999

Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story collection mainly incorporates the stories about the lives of emigrating Indians. These people struggle to adjust between the Indian traditions they living up with and left behind to move towards entirely different western world. The book reflects the sense of alienations these emigrants feel and how they try to cope with it. And because of that the characters in the various stories not able to communicate with their partners or respective family.

The title story “Interpreter of Maladies” is of a man who works as interpreter for the doctor as doctor does not understand local language. He also works as tourist guide and this story is about when he guides one NRI family. Then there is a story "A Temporary Matter" which is a story of Indian couple who are dealing with miscarriage which drew them apart. Then there are many interesting stories like "When Mr. Pirzada Came To Dine", "Mrs. Sen's", "The Blessed House", "Sexy" and "The Third And Final Continent".

I like the Jhumpa Lahiri’s narration, she explore the psyche of these emigrant Indian characters through simple everyday situations. For a person born and brought up in London, her characterization of Indians is commendable and flawless. Unlike many authors Lahiri write for both male and female protagonist. All the stories are passionate, dramatic, &sentimental and make you heave a sigh at the end.

If I have to rate this book I will give it 8 out of 10.

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