Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Interpreter of Maladies” as Want to Read:
Interpreter of Maladies
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Interpreter of Maladies

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  117,917 Ratings  ·  7,731 Reviews
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 cultures 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 ...more
Audio, Abridged
Published June 26th 2000 by Soundelux Audio Publishing (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
In this stirring collection of short stories, Jhumpa Lahiri enchantingly displays the diasporic struggle of men, assailed invariably by nightmares of home, over the dilemma of assimilating into the new world or clinging on to the past culture.

What drew me to my craft was the desire to force the two worlds I occupied to mingle on the page as I was not brave enough, or mature enough, to allow in life.

The author exhibits her majestic power of story telling with such grace and allure that the mos
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
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
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
In 2000 Jhumpa Lahiri became the first Indian American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her short story collection The Interpreter of Maladies. In these nine poignant stories, Lahiri relates the Indian immigrant experience, connecting the tales and creating one voice for them. The stories shared a sadness of being separated from one's family by thousands of miles, yet also offered a glimmer of hope for their lives in India or the United States.

Not generally a reader of short stories, t
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
Nov 24, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know a book is good when someone asks you for a synopsis, or snippet, or impression, and all you can do is smile there, enveloped in a subtle magic only you know about, & forget what it was all about altogether. This happened with "Interpreter of Maladies", a perfectly-titled collection of short stories about Indian Americans in India or in the U.S. Their ages and experiences range from children to marrieds to 103 year-olds, from tourism in the old world to the assimilation to a new one. ...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
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
Olivier Delaye
Nov 18, 2016 Olivier Delaye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Jhumpa Lahiri’s first published work, one for which she received the Pulitzer Prize in 2000, and deservedly so. Indeed, it takes a talented writer to make the normality of everyday life appealing (at least to me), and in this endeavor Lahiri passes with flying colors. As you may already know, Interpreter of Maladies is not a novel but a collection of 9 short stories, which I will now review in turn, albeit briefly.

A TEMPORARY MATTER is about an Indian-American couple who’s on the skids d
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
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. Dois anos depois a sua família mudou-se para Kingston, Rhode Island, nos Estados Unidos da América.
”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, ”intérprete de enfermidades” q
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
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
Shayantani Das
5+++++++++++ stars...
As Mrs Croft said"SPLENDID" :D
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!
مروان البلوشي
تاريخ القراءة الأصلي : بداية الآلفية

فن القصة القصيرة صعب للغاية، إذ أنه يتطلب تكثيفا غير عادي من قبل الكاتب وقدرة فريدة منه على القبض على اللحظات الإنسانية الدافقة بسرعة في حياتنا. وهذا ما تنجح به جومبا لاهيري به في هذه المجموعة القصصية الجميلة والمؤثرة.
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
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
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
Naz (Read Diverse Books)
3.5 Stars

When I hunkered down on my reading nook to finally read Interpreter of Maladies, I did so with a staunch determination to finish it in one or two sittings. I was giddy with an excitement that had been built up after months, perhaps years of hype and praise. I expected to be moved and transported to a literary Nirvana that had been promised by countless readers and reviewers. Unfortunately, that wasn't my experience.

After I finished reading this collection of 9 stories, I closed the boo
Miss Ravi
Apr 30, 2016 Miss Ravi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story, re-read
بعد از چند سال که دوباره خواندمش انگار چیزهایی به کتاب اضافه شده و در این مدتی که کتاب توی کتابخانهام بوده داستانها مثل درخت رشد کردهاند و شاخ و برگ دادهاند. همهشان داستانهای معرکهای هستند و میشود به تنهایی برای هر کدام یک تحلیل مفصل نوشت. عناصر داستانی به بهترین شکل ممکن به کار گرفته شدهاند و درونمایهی داستانها هم در عین سادگیشان که نشات گرفته از احساسات انسانی و مسائل سادهی زندگی هستند، داستانهای کامل و عمیقی ساختهاند.
داستان «یک مسئلهی موقتی» داستان زن و مردی است که رابطهشان به دلایلی دچار سر
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
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.
فهد الفهد
Feb 02, 2014 فهد الفهد rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-america
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
Jul 23, 2013 KamRun 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Store
  • The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
  • Guard of Honor
  • Elbow Room
  • Sightseeing
  • Now in November
  • The Edge of Sadness
  • The Town
  • Years of Grace
  • Early Autumn: A Story of a Lady
  • The Unknown Errors of Our Lives: Stories
  • Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag
  • A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
  • Dragon's Teeth
  • Foreign Affairs
  • The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
  • The Able McLaughlins
  • Journey in the Dark
Nilanjana Sudeshna "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 d
More about Jhumpa Lahiri...

Share This Book

“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.” 497 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")” 93 likes
More quotes…