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Some Kind of Remedy

Gabriele Annan: Jhumpa Lahiri, 20 July 2000

Interpreter of Maladies 
by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Flamingo, 198 pp., £6.99, June 2000, 0 00 655179 3
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... Jhumpa Lahiri’s first book is a collection of short stories. It has already won several prizes: the Pulitzer 2000 for fiction, the New Yorker for best first book and the PEN/Hemingway award. Praise from Amy Tan is quoted on the cover, as it was on the cover of Gish Jen’s Who’s lrish? Tan and Jen both write about first and second-generation Chinese Americans, and are upbeat on the whole, sometimes relentlessly so ...

Out of Sorts

Jessica Olin: Jhumpa Lahiri, 4 March 2004

The Namesake 
by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Flamingo, 291 pp., £15.99, January 2004, 9780002259019
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... Jhumpa Lahiri’s first book, Interpreter of Maladies (2000), was a collection of spare short stories, whose characters, many of them Indian, exist in a sort of permanent exile, living in America but never fully belonging to it. In her sprawling first novel, The Namesake, she revisits this territory and attempts to move beyond it ...

Come back if you can

Christopher Tayler: Jhumpa Lahiri, 23 October 2013

The Lowland 
by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Bloomsbury, 340 pp., £16.99, September 2013, 978 1 4088 2811 3
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... then reread them,’ the hero’s father, Ashoke Ganguli, recalls his grandfather telling him in Jhumpa Lahiri’s first novel, The Namesake (2003): ‘They will never fail you.’ These wise words, spoken in West Bengal, don’t address the language problem. But ‘when Ashoke’s English was good enough’, we’re told, he took his grandfather’s ...

Modernity’s Undoing

Pankaj Mishra: ‘A Visit from the Goon Squad’, 31 March 2011

A Visit from the Goon Squad 
by Jennifer Egan.
Corsair, 336 pp., £14.99, March 2011, 978 1 78033 028 0
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... Roth and Jonathan Franzen, or all the chroniclers of the immigrant experience from Henry Roth to Jhumpa Lahiri. Pynchon and DeLillo have had oddly few successors, even though the end of the Cold War, with the apparent triumph of American-style capitalism, only accelerated the ‘global momentum’ that, as DeLillo wrote after 9/11, ‘drives unmindfully ...

Get a Real Degree

Elif Batuman, 23 September 2010

The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing 
by Mark McGurl.
Harvard, 480 pp., £25.95, April 2009, 978 0 674 03319 1
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... and creative writing: disciplines which differ in their points of reference (Samuel Richardson v. Jhumpa Lahiri), the graduate degrees they award (Doctor of Philosophy v. Master of Fine Arts) and their perceived objects of study (‘literature’ v. ‘fiction’). Mark McGurl’s The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing, a ...

Diary

Sanjay Subrahmanyam: Another Booker Flop, 6 November 2008

... Supertramp. At its most genteel, this attitude may be found in an Indian-American writer such as Jhumpa Lahiri, whose work would never embrace the subjectivity of a crass chauffeur from Bihar who smashes his employer’s head in with a whisky bottle in Dhaula Kuan while chewing betel-leaf. The other – more common – type of novel tries to represent ...

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