Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter of Maladies

By Jhumpa Lahiri

  • Release Date: 1999-06-01
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 270 Ratings


Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In "A Temporary Matter," published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant. She is an important and powerful new voice.


  • Insightful and Kind

    By MusicTeacherMom
    Jhumpa Lahiri’s characters are extraordinarily ordinary, yet deep as the stars. I miss each one like a friend at the end of each story.
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, 'Interpreter of Maladies'

    By Le voile bateau
    I had quite some time ago thoroughly enjoyed Ms Lahiri's 'Unaccustomed Earth', and in reading this brief collection, I noted some basic similarities to the earlier volume, but I think this time I may have been more perceptive in searching beyond the linear story to certain themes she illuminates. In 'Interpreter of Maladies', she seems to bring the reader face-to-face with many unanswerable perplexities of human interaction, ending with that extraordinarily painful ending expression, ' if he wasn't even worth insulting'. Pain is what the protagonist receives for trying to answer the expressed needs of his tour ensemble and their marital difficulties. In 'A Temporary Matter' she holds a mirror to the long-suffering hurts of an externally successful couple, and at the same time asks in effect, "aren't these the inherent problems which must be faced by everyone at different times and in different ways ?" This collection will, if you are in any sense conscious of your responsibilities as a human being, be a portal for a change of perspective, and at the same time a source of reminiscence and pain. And I think it is indeed worth it, for each of us.
  • Beautiful

    By WildMarc
    Amazing "tour de force"
  • Beautiful

    By A-Master 12
    Quite possibly the greatest piece of literature I have ever read. Jhumpa Lahiri is able to weave the stories in a masterful style, filling each story with compelling characters that will drive you to the verge of tears. The use symbolism is subtle enough to please the senses while still remaining visible to the reader (merely look to the use of food throughout the stories). An excellent work that will keep readers hooked and begging for more.
  • Interpreter of Maladies

    By Slscotty
    Full of life and an intense emotional connection to the characters within, these short stories may involve the lives of india's people, but the situations are a reminder to us all of our own experiences and the influences of all we meet. Well written, each pulls the reader in and subjects him to the emotional turmoil and highlights that we feel as we travel through our lives, Some of the stories make you smile, some make you sad or upset, but all tug at your heart and touch your very soul. S.L Scott, 5 May 2011
  • A Must Read eBook!

    By Nicholas_H
    I bought the paperback edition of this book a few years ago, and it is one oft favorites. I had to get the eBook version for my iOS devices. Do yourself a favor - Read This Book.