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Authors of the Month > Author of December 2012 - Jhumpa Lahiri

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Kris - My Novelesque Life (Kris1980) I would like to introduce you to author, Jhumpa Lahiri born Nilanjana Sudeshna, in London, 1967 to an immigrant family from West Bengal. At the age of three her family moved to Rhode Island in USA. Lahiri considers herself to be an American stating, I wasn't born here, but I might as well have been."

Her father was a librarian at the University of Rhode Island and is even the basis for a protagonist in one of her short stories ("The Third and Final Continent," the closing story from Interpreter of Maladies).

Lahiri identifies with her character Gogol, from her novel, The Namesake in that she was always embarrassed by her legal name especially since it was hard to pronounce. She went with her pet name, Jhumpha.

Lahiri received her B.A. in English literature from Barnard College in 1989 and then received multiple degrees from Boston University: an M.A. in English, M.F.A. in Creative Writing, M.A. in Comparative Literature, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies. She took a fellowship at Provincetown's Fine Arts Work Center, which lasted for the next two years (1997–1998). Lahiri has taught creative writing at Boston University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

In 2001, Lahiri married Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, a journalist who was then Deputy Editor of TIME Latin America, and who is now Senior Editor of Fox News Latino. Lahiri lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her husband and their two children.

Lahiri has written two collections of short stories:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

And, one novel:

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter of Maladies is the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Best Collection winner (2000). Her second collection debuted as #1 on the NY Times best seller which is rare for this genre. The Namesake was adapted into a motion picture in 1997 starring Kal Penn.

"Lahiri has also had a distinguished relationship with The New Yorker magazine in which she has published a number of her short stories, mostly fiction, and a few non-fiction including The Long Way Home; Cooking Lessons, a story about the importance of food in Lahiri's relationship with her mother.

Since 2005, Lahiri has been a Vice President of the PEN American Center, an organization designed to promote friendship and intellectual cooperation among writers.

In February 2010, she was appointed a member of the Committee on the Arts and Humanities, along with five others." (from Wikipedia)

Kris - My Novelesque Life (Kris1980) Other Awards:
1993 – TransAtlantic Award from the Henfield Foundation
1999 – O. Henry Award for short story "Interpreter of Maladies"
1999 – PEN/Hemingway Award (Best Fiction Debut of the Year) for "Interpreter of Maladies"
1999 – "Interpreter of Maladies" selected as one of Best American Short Stories
2000 – Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
2000 – "The Third and Final Continent" selected as one of Best American Short Stories
2000 – The New Yorker's Best Debut of the Year for "Interpreter of Maladies"
2000 – Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her debut "Interpreter of Maladies"
2000 – James Beard Foundation's M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for "Indian Takeout" in Food & Wine Magazine
2002 – Guggenheim Fellowship
2002 – "Nobody's Business" selected as one of Best American Short Stories
2008 – Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for "Unaccustomed Earth"
2009 – Asian American Literary Award for "Unaccustomed Earth"

message 3: by Kris - My Novelesque Life (last edited Dec 03, 2012 01:46PM) (new)

Kris - My Novelesque Life (Kris1980) Unpublished material (academic)

A Real Durwan and Other Stories (1993, Boston University M.A. thesis)
Only an Address: Six Stories by Ashapurna Devi introduced, translated and with critical commentary by Lahiri (1995, Boston University M.A. thesis)
Accursed Palace: The Italian Palazzo on the Jacobean Stage (1603-1625) (1997, Boston University Ph.D. thesis)

Uncollected non-fiction

"Cooking Lessons: The Long Way Home" (6 September 2004, The New Yorker)
"Improvisations: Rice" (23 November 2009, The New Yorker)
"Reflections: Notes from a Literary Apprenticeship" (13 June 2011, The New Yorker)


(Introduction) The Magic Barrel: Stories by Bernard Malamud, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, July 2003.
(Introduction) Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan, Penguin Classics, August 2006.
"Rhode Island" (essay), State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey, Ecco, September 16, 2008
Essay, The Suspension of Time: Reflections on Simon Dinnerstein and The Fulbright Tryptich edited by Daniel Slager, Milkweed Editions, June 14, 2011.

message 4: by Jonetta (new)

Jonetta (Ejaygirl) My first book by Lahiri was Interpreter of Maladies and I loved it. This book also spurred my interest in the short story. She's masterful in connecting with the reader and quickly defining her characters through their story.

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