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Interpreter of Maladies / The Namesake

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,667 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Jhumpa Lahiri took the literary world by storm when her debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. The collection was followed by her best-selling and critically acclaimed novel The Namesake—a finely wrought, deeply moving family drama. Presenting these works together here, this edition displays Lahiri’s enormous talent as a storyteller.
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published November 15th 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  2,667 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Miranda folded her arms across her chest and looked Rohin in the eyes. 'Tell me something.'
He was silent.
'What does it mean?'
'That word. "Sexy." What does it mean?'
He looked down, suddenly shy. 'I can't tell you.'
'Why not?'
'It's a secret.' He pressed his lips together, so hard that a bit of them went white.
'Tell me the secret. I want to know.'
Rohin sat on the bed beside Miranda and began to kick the edge of the mattress with the backs
Gabriel Valjan
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'll be honest: didn't like Interpreter of Maladies on the first-go. I had read The Namesake first and was spoiled by the experience. When I went to Interpreter I couldn't get through it because it felt like I was being cheated, given the window display when I knew that there was more behind the counter. I had that knowledge because I had read a full-length, in depth display of the author's narrative power. As the old adage goes in programming: the end-user is an idiot and that idiot was me. The ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can't honestly say enough about this book, Jhumpa Lahiri, or her ability to gently tell stories that don't change your life, but make you feel part of a giant, overwhelming world. Her prose is perfect. Her sentence structure flawless. She is my literary idol and I am anxious for her to write something new. Nothing about her writing will make you stay up past midnight trying to get to the end and it's this very kind pacing that I appreciate most. Her characters are real people who are relatable ...more
Eva Lim
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked the short stories and it's a wonderful collection, excellent reading. As for the namesake, it's a delight to read this novel, story about immigration and clash between two cultures....A son that has an identity crisis"ABCD" American Born Confused Desis. His parents clings to their Ethnic Background and traditions.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read just The Interpreter of Maladies... So beautifully written. Reminded me of Olive Kitteridge with its little glimpses of humanity and the funny/sad things that happen everyday. One of those rare books that I wanted to read as slowly as possible so that it would last longer.
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My niece, a 27-yr old science girl, asked me for a book for Christmas. I was moved. Yesterday I walked to a brick and mortar bookstore near my house and lovingly purchased Interpreter of Maladies for her. Thumbing through the stories before wrapping, I am overtaken again by the book's beauty.
Yi Lin
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked her poetic writing style. It was lovely reading it :)
Peter Verboven
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
An incredibly elegant set of portraits of Indian people living in the US. Each story is charming and immediately draws you into a little universe of ordinary people trying to live their lifes, perched between the traditions of the country they hail from and the fluid mores of the country they live in.
Jan Prucnal
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
As the author's first book, it's very different from her subsequent
books. These short stories shows different perspectives
for various scenarios. For example, the title's short story relates to different ways of looking at a job. Another one deals with loneliness in an unorthodox way.
Ms Lahiri won a Pulitzer Prize for this book.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Several stories (unrelated) but each beautiful written, with so many details, a small universe you dive into. Refreshing.
Linda Bridgman
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazing first book of fiction! See comments provided for Namesake.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
not my style..
Mary Rockman
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jumps Lahore is one of my all time favorite novelists. Her writing is beautiful and meaningful and characters stay with me for a long time.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good. Lahiri's prose brought a whole new world to life for me in a way that made it my own. I am so glad I read this book.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub, pulitzer
Communication, relationships, culture and alienation are the central themes reverberating through The Interpreter of Maladies. While the characters are Indian the themes are universal and connect the stories. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Jhumpa Lahiri’s lyrical writing resonates with characters so compelling and stories so rich the reader hates to let them go. Sanjeev, an MIT grad about to become a VP, and Twinkle, an Stanford literary doctoral student, are newly married after a four month distance ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interpreter of Maladies:-

Unlike the other works of her I read before this, this collection of short stories is smooth like a properly aged mild liqueur, and comforting, without the raw edges in her other works that I read before that gave a pain sometimes, often dull, sometimes sharp - which did not detract from the literary qualities of those works, but rather enhanced the experience for a reader familiar with her world.

Lahiri either always was or is developing into a rather fine author and d
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2013 rated it liked it
79. Interpretor of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. 198 pages.

Jhumpa Lahiri is an ethnic Bengali writer, born in London. brought up in America, who writes in English. As someone caught between the rootless culture of the modern developed world and the more tradition-bound culture of India, she is well positioned to exploit that vague sense of unease that we feel when we turn our back on our roots and traditions. The short stories collected in this Pulitzer Prize-winning volume focus on differe
Linda Bouley
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book of short stories, assigned for my book club, won the Pulitzer Prize. At first I didn't really care for it and was a little nonplussed that I wouldn't be over-the-moon about a book of that stature. But I kept reading and felt attracted to the main characters in each story. Each was deeply steeped in their Indian culture and in some way struggling to integrate themselves into their lives be it in India or as immigrants. During the book club meeting discussion, I began to realize that in ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Interpreter of Maladies", by itself, gets 5 stars. "The Namesake" comes in at 4; it's good, very good, written in such a way that the large span of time covered is seamless and almost thoughtlessly easy to follow (my greatest gripe with books that span several years is the constant flipping back and forth I have to do to remember where -- when -- I am), but somehow almost unbearably depressing. I swear, when I pictured this book in my head, I saw everything in so many different permutations of ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of short stories and was so glad to have discovered this J. Lahiri. She is well-deserving for the acclaim she has received for this work.

All the stories stick and despite the fact that the characters are all from the subcontinent of Asia, the immigrant themes are quite universal. In addition, her stories are much more meatier than other short stoies that I have read recently (9 in total here), which make for thorough details and room for subtle stuff too. None disappo
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
If I were to grade these stories I would give them an "A"! They are well written, they are multi-layered with issues that leave you thinking and provide a lot of topics for discussion. Arranged marriages, cultural clashes, and universal themes of how we treat each other are all dealt with in a very sensitive manner. I did not give it 5 stars because I felt there was a formula that she followed for each story that made them feel like a homework assignment. However, she did an excellent job on her ...more
Lisa Ann
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
She is one of my favorite writers having been introduced to her short stories in INterpreters of Maladies and i think a piece that was in the New Yorker several years ago. She's not prolific, therefore her newest book, just realeased last week by Amazon sits next to one of my reading chairs!

Don't judge her by the movie, The Namesake. It was an OK movie , and a terrific book. I'm drawing a blank on her next book, it was also shortstories and I read it and listened to it back and forth
Neil Crossan
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Lahiri understands that time is of the essence in these short stories, so she doesn’t waste time outs in the 2nd half on defense and understands how an two minute drill is supposed to be run. He spots the open man looks away the safety, she doesn’t turn it over in the red zone. Bottom line, she throws the ball to T.O. because he can make plays. But she still talks about Indian food too much. (7/10)
Leah Polcar
Amazing. Reading through a few Goodreads reviews, I am surprised by those who didn't like it from the beginning; I found it outstanding from the first page and blew through it in a day. I am not surprised however at the high ratings: this was after all a Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction (a collection of short stories nonetheless!), but I am unbelievably envious that it was also a debut collection. I plan on reading everything by Lahiri I can get my hands on.
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Jhumpa Lahiri writes such touching, melancholy accounts of the true struggles of being alone, lost, or in a place you don't know well while longing for a place you miss through her tales of immigrants, and provides insightful, equally melancholy accounts of human life and our tendencies to push away our past, our culture, and even those we love most.
Marcy Auguste
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing

This was the first book of Ms. Lahiri's I ever read and I really enjoyed it. It made me laugh and cry and was a great experience in my first foray into more ethnic books. Its like she says in the Namesake, reading books allows us to travel around the world without having to go to the places we read about.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
This is about The Namesake only. I have not read the Interpreter of Maladies. I am disappointed! I have heard and red so much about Jhumpa Lahiri and her amazing novels and I guess I had high expectations. Its an easy read novel about an Indian family in America but absolutely nothing more. I cant understand whats so special about it. ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. Each story was a gem. I learned much about Indian culture in these well told stories. Lahiri is a fabulous writer and truly deserved the Pulitzer Prize for this collection. In that my partner is Pakistani, my interest was heightened in the subject matter. I hope to read more of her works in the future.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I like the way the author reveals information about her characters. Every story in the collection was worth reading, and they vary enough that they don't feel repetitive. The relationships amongst characters are often fraught, but I was not left with an overall dreary feeling. The common human frailties are portrayed with compassion.
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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