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Interpreter of Maladies

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  108,441 Ratings  ·  7,121 Reviews
The Pulitzer Prize-winning sensation, a Pen/Hemingway Award winner, New Yorker "Debut of the Year", a national bestseller, and a Book Sense '76 pick, available in cloth and in paperback.
Hardcover, 198 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published 1999)
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Jun 04, 2012 Nataliya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads, pulitzer
Writing short stories is not easy. A novel is an easier literary form in a way - it allows you the space for character and plot development and gives you the space to slowly fall in love with it.

Short story, on the other hand, is like literary speed dating; it only has so much time to set itself apart and make a somewhat decent expression. It's much easier for me to think of good novelists than good short story writers. Let's try - Hemingway, Poe, Bradbury, Chekhov, maybe a few more. Well, I gu
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Amazing, extraordinary - there aren't enough superlatives for this one!

The first story, A Temporary Matter tells of a young married couple who must endure a one hour power outage for five consecutive nights. They determine that in the darkness they will tell each other something they've never before told one another. In just a few pages Lahiri exposes the secret feelings of these individuals. And then she ends the story in a completely unexpected way. Rarely will I gasp while reading, though she
Jr Bacdayan
Aug 06, 2015 Jr Bacdayan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are certain things in life that bewilder and baffle us with their staggering normality. Things so simple yet unmistakably captivating, common-place yet elegant, subtle yet profound. Jumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize winning collection of short stories is one of those things. She writes with a grace and an elegance that transforms her simple stories into a delicate myriad of words and feelings. Each story transforming you into a singularity bound to its harmonious beauty. The different stories ...more
May 13, 2008 Kavitha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awardwinning
Once again, a very depressing storyline from yet another author of Indian origin. Remember! I am not being parochial here, I am Indian myself. Being very familiar with Indian cinematography and screenplays, I know that Indians are prone to over emphasizing on family sentiments and emotions. But what I fail to understand is how authors based out of other countries too have the same idea of applying sentiments in a very negative sense to their stories. It also beats me how this won the Pulitzer, j ...more
MJ Nicholls
This collection won the Pen/Hemingway Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and— most impressively—the New Yorker Debut of the Year. Oo-wee! When a book receives this amount of awards, it’s a) lazy—why give two prestigious prizes to the SAME book? b) going to give the reader unrealistic expectations and c) a conspiracy of critics. This collection arrived at a time when an Indian writer hadn’t been given a Pulitzer or important award, and the committee wanted to expand its reach outside middle-cl ...more
May 09, 2013 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like her novel The Namesake, Lahiri's collection of short stories deals mainly with the experience of Indian immigrants in America. They often deal with a more specific experience: a young married couple moves to America shortly after being married so the husband can work at a university, and they have to navigate the new worlds of their marriage and the United States simultaneously. Being an Indian immigrant, or being the child of Indian immigrants, in America is clearly a subject close to Lahi ...more
Nov 19, 2015 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“He learned not to mind the silences.”
― Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies


Some of the stories were brilliant, some were very good and only a couple were meh. This novel captures for me the right tension between foreignness and loneliness and those small wires, crumbs of connection that bridge people and cultures. Yeah, I dug it.

Personally, I don't care about awards (See William H. Gass). And I really don't care that she's a woman (other than the fact that I'm trying to read more women this
Apr 16, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barbara by: Diane, Teresa, Maria, Cynthia
Shelves: asia, short-stories
My library presented me with a tattered, yellowing copy of this book. Its shoddy state soon became irrelevant as I quickly became immersed in this collection of stories. Jhumpa Lahiri's style is elegant, evocative and sweet. Her narratives create an aura of reality and presence for the reader.

In a blurb on the back cover, another of my highly regarded authors,Amy Tan, has stated. "Jhumpa Lahiri is the kind of writer who makes you want to grab the next person you see and say, 'Read this'-" It see
Jun 04, 2008 Krys rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Krys by: everyone
By and large I found this collection overrated. Which is not to say that I didn't find some of the stories fantastic, the title story for example, as well as the 2nd story in the book. And nothing was really bad here, but seldom did any of these stories strike me as anything as phenomenal as Ms. Lahiri's novel The Namesake.

The collection can be sorted into two main types of stories, those in the East, and those in the West. In both cases, what separates most of these stories from the tale of The
A pleasant collection of short stories.

My favorites are the following two:

(1) 'A Real Darwan', something I could relate to the social structure in Calcutta, after a touristic trip I made there a few years ago

(2) 'Sexy', a touching story of the painful effects of parental infidelity on a little boy, coming of age.
Daniel Clausen
Apr 07, 2014 Daniel Clausen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have this fear that used bookstores will cease to exist in the near future. They exist in spite of reality now. What on earth could be the return on investment (ROI) of a used bookstore?

As any connoisseur of used books will tell you, a used book has a much different smell than a new book. Indeed, used books have a variety of smells depending on how old and what kind of paper they are printed on.

Used book stores offer the opportunity to find things--not just books, but the marginal notes of o
If you are a lover of the short story, you will hug this book. It is a perfect rendition of the form, with characters who are driven by osmosis. No wonder it won the Pulitzer.

There are a lot of things Lahiri does so well that I enjoyed. Things that made me stay with this collection, finishing it in one day. Did she use her stories to inform of the Indian Diaspora, one wonders? Oh no, not fiction writers, they are not supposed to write with some agenda...blah blah. Well if she didn't mean to be
Dec 06, 2007 Dianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Interpreter of Maladies", Mrs. Sen’s is a tragic story of the immigrant struggle and an ultimate failure to adjust. Many who read this story view Mrs. Sen’s inability to assimilate solely as a result of her own short-comings, placing full blame on her. However, this incomplete reading fails to consider the external and internal social forces that buffet the immigrant body which must also be held responsible for Mrs. Sen’s end state. These forces, both external- people in society of different ...more
Karina E
Feb 08, 2016 Karina E rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
3.5 stars. There are some amazing stories in this (my favorites are the the first and the last!) but some didn't wow me as much. This is to be expected in a collection of stories and I don't value it any less for it. This was a fantastic introduction to her writing and I will definitely move on to her novels!
Shayantani Das
5+++++++++++ stars...
As Mrs Croft said"SPLENDID" :D
Aug 13, 2015 Mmars rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rarely does a short story collection come along where each and every story could stand well on its own, yet each deserves a place with the others in the collection as well. The nine stories in “Interpreter of Maladies” take place either in the Boston area or India/Bangladesh.

Culture and assimilation are woven in, but always the story hones in on the universal protagonist. Though it may sound broad, the focus is on what I’ll call the human condition of everyday life - where one finds oneself and
Most of the short stories are characterized by recurring themes of Indians trying to cope with an alien way of life in America and the subtle identity crisis triggered in one by a life away from one's homeland. Barring a few vivid descriptions of various cultural idiosyncrasies, there is nothing striking about any of the stories. Neither do the stories achieve any emotional resonance of sorts nor is there any strong overarching message one can perceive from a peremptory reading of the collection ...more
João Carlos

Jhumpa Lahiri (n. 1967)

Nilanjana Sudeshna "Jhumpa" Lahiri nasceu a 11 de Julho de 1967 em Londres, Reino Unido, filha de pais indianos, que imigraram de Calcutá, no estado de Bengala Ocidental. A sua família mudou-se para Kingston, Rhode Island, nos Estados Unidos da América, quando Jhumpa Lahiri tinha dois anos de idade.
”Jhumpa” foi o diminutivo que a sua educadora de infância lhe deu para “evitar” pronunciar Nilanjana Sudeshna.
Em 1999 publica o seu primeiro livro, um conjunto de nove contos,
May 31, 2015 لیلی rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: دارمشان
چقدر برام شبیه بود به عطر سنبل عطر کاج... البته که خب اون طنز بود و این کاملا جدی، ولی منظورم یه جورایی نفس عمل ه... و دقیقا ایراد هایی رو که ایرانیا از فیروزه جزایری گرفتهن رو هندی ها هم از جومپا لاهیری گرفتهن...
و چقدر خوندن ش مفید بود واسه اینکه همچنان روی عقیده م درباره عطرسنبل... بمونم، به دلایل زیادی! از جمله اینکه همه تلاش میکردن قانعم کنن که ”تو که نمیدونی یه آمریکایی موقه خوندن این چقدررر ممکن ه بدش بیاد از ایرانیا و چقدررر ممکن ه عقب مونده ببیندشون...“ و الان با جدیت میگم که نه!!! من یه
Aug 10, 2013 Book'd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Book'd by: Book'd Lady
Big Bright & Shiny Five Stars to this excellent work by Jhumpa Lahiri

Books of Jhumpa Lahiri have been lying since very long in my TBR, but ocean size thanks to Ashu for this personalized gem and making me read this.

The first story Temporary Matter is about a couple who has lost their child and because of the reason they lost their way of living, loving and understanding each other. How they tried to come closer to each other as earlier by changes in their routine, confessing
Feb 02, 2014 Fahad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
ترجمان الأوجاع

ليس العنوان وحده ما يفتن في هذه المجموعة القصصية، للكاتبة الأمريكية من أصل هندي (جومبا لاهيري)، والتي نالت عليها جائزة البوليتزر لعام 2000 م، بل كذلك القصص الجميلة التي تأخذنا إلى عالم الهنود الأمريكان، فلقد تعودنا على روايات وقصص هنود بريطانيا، ولكنها المرة الأولى – بالنسبة لي على الأقل – التي اقرأ فيها لهندية أمريكية.

للاهيري تلك القدرة الفذة على خلق عالم متكامل من خلال صفحات قليلة، كما لديها القدرة على إبراز الشخصيات ونحت ملامحها، ففي أول قصص المجموعة (شأن مؤقت) تأخذنا إلى عمق
Oct 23, 2011 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
The short story collection entitled Interpreter of Maladies is a powerful novel featuring characters caught between cultures, families and often identities. Jhumpa Lahiri as the writer and omniscient observer sympathises with the plight of such characters, having felt herself a sense of identity crisis.

The collection won a pulitzer prize and I believe that it is firmly deserved. The prose is powerfully moving and emotional providing insight into how culture, or a lack of, influences individuals.
Jul 23, 2013 Kamran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
داستان هایی فوق العاده جذاب و گیرا که در عین سادگی خواننده را محسور خودشان می کنند.کتاب با داستان زندگی یک زوج جوان که فرزند به دنیا نیامده شان را از دست داده اند شروع می شود،با داستان "هوس" و "مترجم درد" ها به اوج خود می رسد و با داستان "سومین و آخرین قاره" به زیبایی به پایان می رسد.احساس در سطر سطر کتاب موج می زند،نه مانند "دوست داشتم کسی جایی منتظرم باشد" آنا گاوالدا خام و نابالغ،بلکه بسیار ریشه دار و به عمل آمده تا آنجا که به راحتی تا عمق وجود خواننده رخنه می کند.

از وفتی که فضانوردان،آن قهرم
Apr 03, 2016 Milka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, favorites
The world of short stories is still, unfortunately, quite unknown to me. A lot of my reading is based on recommendations by other readers from multiple social media platforms, and I feel like short stories come to my radar very rarely. This spring, I have been trying to read out of my personal norm, which has mostly consisted of young adult literature, and The Interpreter of Maladies is among the most wonderful finds I have made throughout that process.

Before I picked this one up from the librar

Originally posted here.

There are a number of books that have left me nursing a huge hangover for days. You know that feeling: you couldn’t begin to read your next book because you still keep thinking about the one you’ve just finished - because you couldn’t get over how good that last book was. Now take that feeling and multiply it by nine – one for each of the nine stories that comprise Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer-winning collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies – that was how much I
Jessica Donaghy
Jun 16, 2008 Jessica Donaghy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this very slowly. After finishing each story, I never had the impulse to immediately continue and read the next. I could only absorb one per sitting. I haven't experienced that before, so I found it interesting. Each story had enough weight that it satiated/exhausted me all by itself.
In Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri writes about the human experience across cultures. Most of the short stories include characters of Indian heritage, and all of them delve into the universal emotions of love, loss, grief, and hope. Her prose, while sometimes straightforward and sometimes lyrical, leaves a lot unsaid - in its concision lies its strength, because every word counts. Lahiri works in the perspective of the insider and the outsider, incorporating assimilation, stagnation, and ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Book'd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: indian-literature-lovers, short-story-lovers, travel-a-lot-readers, immigrants
Interpreter of Maladies was recommended to me by one of my friends who kept harping about the book all the time to an extent that every-time I thought about him it was this book that I would see swimming in front of my eyes.

Okay, so I was not reluctant about reading it but coming from a person who seldom read books, I was just pushing it for later. Having read it now, I am happy I did as Jhumpa is an amazing story-teller and all her short simple tales in this book have got me enchanted.

The 'Name
Aug 01, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly pleasantly enjoyable.

I'm not really a big lover of short stories but I found I enjoyed reading this collection. My issue with short stories is that some collections feel incomplete to me and I'm left wondering or wanting more. I was surprised to find that in their essence each story was quite complete and just enough as it was. I liked them. Each story in one way or another touching on or teaching something about the Indian culture and sometimes the immigrant experience at home or
Ahmad Sharabiani
Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
عنوان: «ترجمان دردها» با برگردان «مژده دقیقی»، و نیز با عنوان: «مترجم دردها»، با برگردان: امیرمهدی حقیقت
مجموعه داستان «ترجمان دردها» با اینکه نخستین کتاب «جومپا لاهیری»، نویسنده هندی است؛ اما در زمانی کوتاه پس از انتشار، برنده جایزه بهترین کتاب «نیویورکر»، جایزه «پن» همینگوی، جایزه کتاب برگزیده «پابلیشرز ویکلی»، جایزه «ادیسن مت کاف» از آکادمی هنر و ادبیات آمریکا، جایزه کتاب برگزیده «نیویورک تایمز»، جایزه «اْ هنری»، نامزد جایزه «لوس آنجلس تایمز» و برنده جایزه
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Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London and brought up in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Brought up in America by a mother who wanted to raise her children to be Indian, she learned about her Bengali heritage from an early age.

Lahiri graduated from South Kingstown High School and later received her B.A. in English literature from Barnard College in 1989. She then received multiple degrees from Boston Un
More about Jhumpa Lahiri...

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“Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.” 447 likes
“While the astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this new world for nearly thirty years. I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from home, and certainly I am not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination." (from "The Third and Final Continent")” 86 likes
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