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Interpreter Of Maladies (2000)

Interpreter of Maladies (2000)

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4.1 of 5 Votes: 1
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0618101365 (ISBN13: 9780618101368)
houghton mifflin harcourt

About book Interpreter Of Maladies (2000)

~~SPLENDID BOOK~~Big Bright & Shiny Five Stars to this excellent work by Jhumpa LahiriBooks of Jhumpa Lahiri have been lying since very long in my TBR, but ocean size thanks to Ashu for this personalized gem and making me read this.The first story Temporary Matter is about a couple who has lost their child and because of the reason they lost their way of living, loving and understanding each other. How they tried to come closer to each other as earlier by changes in their routine, confessing the unknown truths to each other is really heart-breaking. Second story When MR. Pirzada Came To Dine is a complex story of a Bangladeshi living in a foreign country. Author has done a wonderful job in narrating how a little girl got attached with Mr. Pirzada in spite of minimum conversations between them, how she prays for his well-being is wonderfully narrated by author. Interpreter of Maladies is the third story of an aged man who is a driver & interpreter. He falls for a NRI woman. I sometimes felt odd while reading this story. Emotional condition of a NRI woman and her feelings are wonderfully portrayed by the author along with the small and precise details.Fifth one A Real Durwan is a story of an elderly woman who works as a cleaner cum durwan of an apartment building. She keeps telling everyone about her royal past, people knowing that it is all lies and just kept ignoring her. But when a mishap occurs and she was questioned, nobody believed her truth too. This story wonderfully tells us about how to live happily with inner satisfaction with all that you have without desiring more than what is affordable. If the people living in the building would not have gotten into the race of adding up unnecessary luxuries to their lives, they would not have been robbed, this could be the message of this story.Sexy is the sixth story, this may catch the attention of a reader by its title. Author has done a wonderful job in narrating this story and that too from a kid’s point of view. How a kid interprets this word and the feelings of a lonely woman having a relationship with a married man finally ends up is a roller coaster read, full of emotions and tragic events.Mrs. Sen's is a narration of life of a lonely woman living with her cold husband. She misses her family and friends in the foreign country. The pleasures she felt only by receiving a call from her siblings and how she gets delighted will actually give pain to the reader. The depressing moments and emotional states of a woman's heart are splendidly narrated by the author.This Blessed House is a story of an Indian couple who moved into a new house which was earlier owned by a Christian family. The wife Twinkle was the character I really liked the most. She is full of life and cheerful. Hunting and searching the old house fascinates her. She is sometimes childish and sometimes mature in persuading and convincing her husband to do the things he didn’t like at all. A simple and enjoyable read this was.The Treatment Of Bibi Haldar is a story of a woman suffering from an unknown disease. This is a tale of emotions of a lady who wanted to get married but being rejected due to her disease. This story is told from the perspective of a neighbour. This story is painful with a twist at the end, I feel it incomplete and really wanted that author should have told more about the last incident to Bibi Haldar.The Third & Final Continent is the story that I liked the most in this book as it reminds me of my long stay in Japan when I missed the loved ones. This story is about the struggle of an Indian man in America. How he started his stay in America in a small room in a bungalow of an older woman. Her strange behaviour irritates him, he keep on going with that. Then he gets married to an Indian woman at Calcutta and finally settles in a new home. Little events and state of mind of an Indian residing abroad and a lady from traditional Indian house married and moved to a foreign country are precisely narrated by author. This was the story which hooked me and the last page I finished in the elevator while reaching home.This is a collection of true to life short stories mostly about the Indian people. Life like stories are always my favourite and this was no exception. I observed that all the stories in this book are somewhat related to loneliness and emotional pains that humans suffer especially when they have to live in a foreign country far from their families and loved ones.Finally, Now, along with Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri is in the list of my all-time favourite authors. Her writing prose has amazed me. I would recommend each and every avid reader to go for her works.Looking forward to read her all the books in coming days.

Originally posted here.There are a number of books that have left me nursing a huge hangover for days. You know that feeling: you couldn’t begin to read your next book because you still keep thinking about the one you’ve just finished - because you couldn’t get over how good that last book was. Now take that feeling and multiply it by nine – one for each of the nine stories that comprise Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer-winning collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies – that was how much I enjoyed the book. I was overwhelmed and hung over and so in love with this collection that I have made it my personal mission to buy every (second-hand) copy I see and give them to whoever would want it.All the stories that make up this compendium are exceptionally wonderful, but my personal favorites are A Temporary Matter, Interpreter of Maladies, Sexy, and A Real Durwan. The book's first salvo, A Temporary Matter, is the story of a young couple's marriage, and how they dealt with the problems that came with the territory.  If I may borrow my reading buddy's words to describe it - that story hurt so good. After reading it, I wondered if Lahiri would be able to sustain my interest all the way to the ninth and final story. I wasn’t disappointed.Interpreter of Maladies - the story from which the title of the compilation is lifted - is about an Indian-American family vacationing in India and their tour guide who also happens to be a clinical interpreter - a medical transcriber, perhaps? Sexy is about a young woman who becomes the paramour of an older, married man - and realizing her self-worth, thanks to a young boy who picks the proper adjective to call her. On the other hand, A Real Durwan is about an old, withered and presumably mad woman who cleans the common areas of a tenement building, how she is allowed sleeping space in a storage room for as long as the residents found her useful, and how everything can change in a snap. These stories, together with the other five - When Mr Pirzada Came To Dine, Mrs. Sen's, This Blessed House, The Treatment of Bibi Haldar and The Third and Final Continent - are equally beautiful and unforgettable. But I picked these four as my favorites among the nine because these were the ones that created a hollow, inexplicable, aching feeling inside me that I just couldn’t shake. Perhaps it’s because these stories dealt with some kind of loss – and there are many kinds – and for every loss that each of these stories offered me, I felt my heart bleed a little. ***It isn’t just the stories themselves that clung on to me – it was also the lovely prose, the serene and engaging writing, that charmed me from the first story to the last. Jhumpa Lahiri writes so, so beautifully, it makes me want to shed tears. She writes so exquisitely that you could feel a character’s emotional turmoil from the words, sense an individual’s inner feelings from the text. If I may be allowed to say so, she gave soul to the stories through the prose. One more thing about the stories that I appreciated was the presence of something Indian in them: the characters were of Indian descent, or they tackled a piece of Indian or Asian history. This can be attributed to Lahiri's roots of course. It was something both informative and entertaining, as well.Having said all those, I highly recommend Interpreter of Maladies to anyone who knows how to appreciate good storytelling and lovely prose. I am certain that there will be one story in this collection that will appeal, charm, or tug at your heartstrings - it is impossible not to.Book Details: My own, trade paperback, bought from Book Sale Robinsons Place Ermita

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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 somehow seem to be explicitly woven together to make a sari of the most beautiful kind. I felt this cumulative effect of an interconnection between all these produced feelings. This delicious melancholy that only the deepest parts of our soul can feel. “She watched his lips forming the words, at the same time she heard them under her skin, under her winter coat, so near and full of warmth that she felt herself go hot.” “It was only then, raising my water glass in his name, that I knew what it meant to miss someone who was so many miles and hours away, just as he had missed his wife and daughters for so many months.” Her stories transcend the cultural & ethnic aspect of things, any person can relate to all these experiences. For me, Interpreter of Maladies is a humanistic book that highlights the common experiences of all people, not just the Indians, while at the same time show-casing a rich culture that some people are not familiar with. She made me feel attached and connected to these characters that had few similarities with me. She made me feel the bond with these people, their experiences, their sadness, their joys, their pain. She made me understand. She made me long for home. She made me feel human. “Eventually I took a square of white chocolate out of the box, and unwrapped it, and then I did something I had never done before. I put the chocolate in my mouth, letting it soften until the last possible moment, and then as I chewed it slowly, I prayed that Mr. Pirzada’s family was safe and sound. I had never prayed for anything before, had never been taught or told to, but I decided, given the circumstances, that it was something I should do. That night when I went to the bathroom I only pretended to brush my teeth, for I feared that I would somehow rinse the prayer out as well. I wet the brush and rearranged the tube of paste to prevent my parents from asking any questions, and fell asleep with sugar on my tongue.”This book shines a light into the dark recesses of our lives. Into those places where we keep our darkest secrets, those places that even we may not be aware of. It shines a light, not a glaring white light from a bulb or a fluorescent, but rather a small light. A light from a candle that illuminates only the most necessary of things. Those things we often neglect when the bright light showcases everything around us. The weak candle-light casts a melancholy feeling only to these important things. But really, maybe that melancholy light is all we need to notice things that really matter. "In the dimness, he knew how she sat, a bit forward in her chair, ankles crossed against the lowest rung, left elbow on the table.""They each took a candle and sat down on the steps.""Something happened when the house was dark. They were able to talk to each other again.""Once it was dark and he began kissing her awkwardly on her forehead and her face, and though it was dark he closed his eyes, and he knew that she did too.""As he watched the couple, the room went dark and he spun around. Shoba turned the lights off. She came back to the table and sat down, and after a moment Shukumar joined her. They wept together, for the things they now knew."As I end, let me borrow from the book's goodreads summary. I do believe that this paragraph captures that very essence of Ms. Lahiri's beautiful craftsmanship. "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." In that single line Jhumpa Lahiri sums up a universal experience, one that applies to all who have grown up, left home, fallen in or out of love, and, above all, experienced what it means to be a foreigner, even within one's own family."As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination."
—Jr Bacdayan

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 year) or that she's Indian American (although both are a significant part of this collection). I don't believe she was subsidized for either being a woman or being Indian, of if she was I really don't care. Everybody is subsidized by something. White men get the white men subsidy. The rich get the rich subsidy. The educated get the educated subsidy. The poor and broken get the helluva life story subsidy. If I could sum it up, I'd guess that this book probably won the writer lottery: the right good book gets published at the perfect momemnt.The stories themselves gave me the same temperate, nuanced, soft vibe I get when I read Kazuo Ishiguro or Julian Barnes. So, at least in my mind, she fits/resonnates more into/with the: über-educated, upper-middle, British/East Coast US, 'outsider now inside' club(s) more than the female writer or even Indian American clubs. But then again, I could be wrong.Anyway, I don't have to say that this was her first published book and she still ended up writing (from what I've heard) solid, serious fiction. So that. Brilliant stories:A Temporary MatterInterpreter of MaladiesMrs Sen'sThis Blessed HouseGood stories:When Mr. Pirzada Came to DineSexyThe Third and Final ContinentMeh stories: A Real DurwanThe Treatment of Bibi Haldar_______________- Robert Farwell / Edward Jones library / Mesa, AZ 2014

I feel kind of bad giving this collection 2 stars but it really was "just OK."Lahiri's not a bad writer but I just never connected with any of her stories in any way.That said, if the last story were the only one, I'd have given it 3 stars for the character of Mrs. Croft; and there are interesting parts in other selections. Like the little boy in "Sexy" or the tour guide in "Interpreter of Maladies."I didn't waste my time reading any of these stories but I'm not going to be going out of my way to read anything else by this author.

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