INTERPRETER OF MALADIES by Jhumpa Lahiri(1999): A Review

This lovely collection of short stories by the author of The Namesake (I had seen the movie.) and The Lowland (a novel I greatly admired) was Lahiri’s “first book.” Maladies won the Pulitzer in 2000, and snippets of the stories in this volume had appeared in The New Yorker, so they sounded familiar, and I kept asking myself, “Have I already read this book”? The paperback appeared in my Little Free Library last month, and I have used it as a pick up and put down book to read in-between grading papers.

I couldn’t pick a favorite story if I had to. Some stories deal with husband-wife relationships with some couples young and newly married and others elderly and still in love or at least putting up with each other. LOL Most of the stories deal in some way with the sweeper of the property where they all live, which ties the stories together. A critic described the stories as “[the] emotional journeys of [Lahiri’s] characters seeking love” across several generations, different backgrounds, varied ethnicities and cultures.

The author’s style of writing is hers alone as she writes with a gentle, unassuming voice, especially demonstrated   in dealing with the character of Mr. Kapsi in the namesake story, “The Interpreter of Maladies.”

I highly recommend this book.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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