Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2000With accomplished precision and gentle eloquence, Jhumpa Lahiri traces the crosscurrents set in motion when immigrants, expatriates, and their children arrive, quite literally, at a cultural divide. The nine stories in this stunning debut collection unerringly chart the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations.
A blackout forces a young Indian American couple to make confessions that unravel their tattered domestic peace. An Indian-American girl recognizes her cultural identity during a Halloween celebration while the Pakastani civil war rages on television in the background. A latchkey kid with a single working mother finds affinity with a woman from Calcutta. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession.
Imbued with the sensual details of Indian culture, these stories speak with passion and wisdom to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner. Like the interpreter of the title story, Lahiri translates between the strict traditions of her ancestors and a baffling new world.
©2000 Jhumpa Lahiri; (P)2000 HighBridge Company
"Moving and authoritative pictures of culture shock and displaced identity." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The crystalline writing in the nine stories of this Pulitzer Prize-winning debut collection dazzles. These sensitive explorations of the lives of Indian immigrants and expatriates touch on universal themes, making them at once specific and broad in their appeal. Narrator Matilda Novak's light voice is fine for stories written by a young woman, and the hint of melody in her reading is typical of Indian voices." (AudioFile)
I enjoyed this compilation of short stories about a variety of Bengali and Indian immigrants . Anyone who is interested to hear different perspectives on the commonly shared theme of being far from home would enjoy this audible book. I also like the variety of readers.
Ordinary and lovely people come alive in these stories. The characters in each story are immensely satisfying in their simple elegance. You will find yourself wanting more and more.
"All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk." — Lemony Snicket
I loved the stories- wonderful snapshots of what it is like to be an Indian immigrant in America. My only tiny criticism has to do with the performance. I thought the guitar interludes were a tiny bit random in where they were placed. But other than that, the words create an incredibly vivid portrait of the lives of these people trying to find their way.
Splendid. Superb. Subtle. Serious. Silly. Sonorous. Significant. Sublime. Sensual. Sensible.
Without a doubt the most enjoyable collection of short stories I've read in ages. The beautiful writing describes places and persons I've yet to see, but still feel I know their thoughts intimately now. The glimpses of Indian and Indian-American culture are priceless and thought-provoking.
I listened to this book on Audible. My only complaint is the 'chapters' of the audiobook do not correspond in any way to the short stories. Each ends in the middle of a chapter and the next begins. Nonsensical, that.
The narrator is wonderful, though, and I have not a single critical word to add. This book is simply awesome.
I just could not relate
maybe, but I would definitely listen to the sample first
I thought the narration was okay, just wasn't interested in what was being said
It was well written, I just didn't care for the story
Pediatrician. Classics, Literary Fiction and SciFi lover"
This performance has not been remastered for Audible and retains the awkward cuts from the end of the disks it was recorded too. This is completely subpar and I will be returning what otherwise would have been an otherwise masterful collection.
I give this a 3.5-3.75 overall. I thought that some of the stories were pretty average, but there were three that were very good. I think my expectations were high because of all the positive things that I heard, but many stories didn't fulfill those expectations. I liked the title story, as well as the first and last stories the best. The narration was good, although it would have been nice to have different voices used in the various stories.
The one distracting thing in the audio version was that at some points in the stories, music played. It didn't signify the end of a story or end of a track, and it was more distracting than anything else; there was no sense as to the placement of the musical breaks.
Contrary to other reviewers I thought that the reader was outstanding. For the most part she captured the whimsy of the female characters in each story. The male characters came across a bit more flat, but still good enough. She moved into and out of a Bengali accent quite well most of the time.
The stories themselves had a melancholy aura as meditations on the difficulty of creating and sustaining intimacy. There was also a slight hint of Flannery O'Conner as I waited for each story to lead to some disaster. Usually the disaster was milder than in an O'Conner story, to my relief.
These were hours well spent but this is not Checkov and by the end there was a degree of predictability. Still, to get the flavor of India transplanted to Boston, these are worth the listening.
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