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Interpreter of Maladies

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  119,111 Ratings  ·  7,797 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 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 ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published May 22nd 2000 by Mariner Books (first published 1999)
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Jan 27, 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
Jul 30, 2013 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
Jul 13, 2010 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
Sep 18, 2007 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
Whitney Atkinson
Feb 09, 2017 Whitney Atkinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Several months later, yaaayy I finally picked this book up and finished it!! We read 3 of these short stories last semester in my Indian/African literature class, and since this entire collection won the Pulitzer, I just wanted to go ahead and finish the entire thing. I enjoyed the ones we read for class, and I continued to love the rest of them! Lahiri has an amazing writing style with such great references to immigration and relationships and they're stories that you can reread over a
May 08, 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
Aug 25, 2011 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
عنوانهای فارسی چاپ شده از این کتاب: ترجمان دردها؛ ترجمان ناخوشیها؛ مترجم بیماریها؛ مترجم دردها؛ مترجم ناخوشیها؛
عنوان: ترجمان دردها؛ نویسنده: جومپا لاهیری؛ برگردان: مژده دقیقی؛ تهران، شهر کتاب، هرمس، 1380؛ در 124 ص؛ شابک: ایکس - 964363003؛ چاپ دوم 1384؛ در 197 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1388؛ شابک: 9789643630034؛ چاپ چهارم 1393؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان امریکایی - قرن 20 م
عنوان: مترجم دردها، نویسنده: جومپا لاهیری؛ برگردان: امیرمهدی حقیقت؛ تهران، ماهی، 1380؛ در 26
The stories in this collection succeed in doing what good short stories should: they illuminate the little moments, the mundane traumas, the controlled anguishes that blink unspoken and unacknowledged into the everyday. I do not think that Lahiri is an exceptional crafter of prose, but she does have a talent for penetrating the human spirit. There is a closeness and vulnerability to her characters that is genuine.

The stories reveal how culture and upbringing can be fulfilling and liberating, ye
Miss Ravi
Apr 21, 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
Mar 19, 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
Dec 19, 2013 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
Feb 11, 2011 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
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.
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
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
Nov 27, 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
Shayantani Das
5+++++++++++ stars...
As Mrs Croft said"SPLENDID" :D
Sara Kamjou
اوایل نوع بیان کتاب من رو یاد کتاب بالاخره یه روزی قشنگ حرف میزنم و نوع نگارش فیروزه جزایری دوما میانداخت. با این تفاوت که این کتاب داستانهایی از زندگی شخصی نویسنده نیست، طنز ضعیفتری داشت و متوجه نمیشدم که خب که چی؟
تنها نقطه مثبت کتاب شاید تصویری باشه که از افراد هندی به خصوص اونهایی که مهاجرت کردن ارائه میداد. به اضافه اینکه نوع صحنهپردازی خیلی خوب بود و روند جالبی رو طی میکرد، گرچه پایانبندی هر داستان اصلا برای من خوشایند نبود.
This book was fine, it really was. But I was expecting more than fine from it; I mean, it won a Pulitzer and the overall consensus seems to be that it is brilliant and hardbreaking and showcasting how impactful short stories can be; and still, it didn't quite work for me.

There were a couple of stories that I really enjoyed ("Sexy" and "Mrs. Sen" to be exact) and none were bad, but that wasn't enough for me. I liked Ms. Lahiri's viewpoint and how carefully she seems to have constructed her sto
Karina E
Jan 18, 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!
Feb 19, 2017 Jeannie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, 2017
This is an excellent book of short stories. I won't forget the first story "A Temporary Matter", it is heartbreaking.
نرگس سلمانی زاده
کتابی که بتونه تا ۲-۳ صبح با یه چشم باز نگهت داره قطعا کتاب فوق العاده ایِ.. ۵ ستاره به محتوای کتاب و ترجمه ی بسیار عالی کتاب. تمام قد برای مترجم ها و نویسنده های خوشفکر می ایستم.
چیزی که بیشتر از هرچیزی جذابیت کتاب رو برای من بیشتر کرد محیط هندی تک تک داستانک های کتاب بود.. برای کسی که به تازگی از سفر هند برگشته و شیفته ی آداب و رسوم عجیب و سبک زندگیشون شده چیزی هیجان انگیز تر از خوندن این کتاب وجود نخواهد داشت.
Jun 03, 2012 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
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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...

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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.” 504 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
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