Sowmya's Reviews > Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
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May 29, 10

Read from May 22 to 29, 2010

Reading this a second time, I found I’d forgotten all the stories. That is no reflection on Ms. Lahiri of course; it’s just something about me and short stories, the more interesting they seem the first time I read them, the faster I forget the ending.
All the stories delve into the human thought process and portray a shifting image; in other words all the main protagonists of her stories seem to be in a place in life where they find themselves changing in a life altering way, emotionally. Be it, the couple in ‘A temporary matter’ or the Guide in ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ or the husband in ‘This Blessed House’etc.. Sometimes the characters don’t know that their life images are shifting away from the spotlight heading towards sun set or vice versa.
All through, I was constantly reminded of the fact that this book, with its intricate detailing of Indian life, not just Indian life abroad but Indian life in general, with the vivid descriptions of the traditional clothes and accessories and food and utensils etc., would have been so much more interesting had I not been Indian myself. Yet, I did see the writing as a special, delicate way of showcasing the entire Indian culture in just a few pages, starting and stopping at well defined points, to punctuate the pages as endings to seemingly different tales.
Yes, this book holds back a lot and that’s my opinion after enjoying ‘The Namesake’ where her treatment of reactions to the ‘Indian Way’, extends way beyond her reserved, but applaud deserving handling of Miranda in ‘Sexy’.
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