Looking for a good collection of short stories to read on the beach for vacation? How about Interpreter of Maladies? This is a collection of short stories by American author Jhumpa Lahiri, whose parents are from India.
I've run into a few people who have also read this book, and they exclaim how much they enjoyed the stories. I concurred with them. Each story deals with immigrants from India as they adjust to life within the United States. The stories are quiet and unassuming at first, but after reading each one, a powerful wave of realization hit me each time.
Publishing companies do not usually publish a series of short stories by an unknown author. After reading Interpreter of Maladies, I can see why they made an exception. Many of these pieces are bound to become classics. I enjoyed each without exception.
I didn't realize this book consisted of a collection of short stories, even though the title claims as much. I was pleasantly surprised. Great stories, overall! I was immediately captivated by the stories and found the characters to be very interesting. The stories were written from a different cultural perspective, one that I'm not too familiar with, but that was what made the stories appealing, different. My only complaint is that many of the stories seemed to end abruptly, without closing. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this book.
Lahiri is so gifted, it's almost criminal. In few words and pages, she firmly brings her characters to life - typically Indians residing in America, wanting to come to the US, or, in the title story, visiting the land of their ancestors...as fully-integrated Americans. The story of Mrs. Sen - a thirty-something Indian lady married to a professor of mathematics at the nearby university who takes cares of 11 year old Eliot - was particularly touching, both in the odd blossoming of their friendship and, despite the details and particulars, the universal ways that we all often feel alienated from life.
Beautiful, lyrical collection of stories, with images that will occur to you unexpectedly for years afterwards.
This is a powerful book. The stories have insinuated themselves into me and the ones I connected with are continuing to pull at me, almost weighing me down, as if I've added something to myself. I'm not meaning to sound all philosophical, but I'm having a hard time explaining how these stories make me feel so I hope you'll forgive me if I don't make much sense.
Read my complete review here