Writings of the general word's body

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jhumpa Lahiri

There was a profile of Jhumpa Lahiri, hot favourite for the Frank O'Connor Prize for her second short story collection 'Unaccustomed Earth, in Saturday's Review section of the UK Guardian (the paper recently devoted its 'In Praise Of...' editorial segment to Lahiri).

Her first story collection, Interpreter of Maladies (1999), which she finished not long after turning 30, won a string of awards that culminated in the Pulitzer prize for fiction. Her first novel, The Namesake (2003),was also well received and became a US bestseller; a less wellreceived film of it by Mira Nair was released in 2006. Her marriage in Calcutta in 2001 to Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, a Guatemalan-American journalist, was given Hollywood-scale coverage by the local media, complete with paparazzi shots. And - unusually, to say the least, for a serious piece of writing, let alone a story collection -her new book, Unaccustomed Earth, went straight to the top of the New York Times fiction bestseller list.One of the things that make Lahiri's success in the marketplace all the more surprising is her lack of interest in either charming her readers with exoticism or dazzling them with a slick style. Unflashily written, long, almost grave in tone, her new stories patiently accumulate detail, only gradually building up a powerful emotional charge.


Frances Uku said...

ehen! i came to thank you for the birthday shoutout but then saw that you'd linked to this article that i was looking earlier today but somehow couldn't find. the lady definitely speaks for a lot of us covertly-colonised types. ta as always for posting the good stuff.

Wordsbody said...

Thanks Frances. That pic of you on the other side was too cute for me not to talk.

As for this article, na true-o, Jhumpa the lady does speak o.