Interpreter of Maladies

by Jhumpa Lahiri | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 039592720x Global Overview for this book
Registered by alrescate of Strafford, Missouri USA on 8/28/2003
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11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by alrescate from Strafford, Missouri USA on Thursday, August 28, 2003
This won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000 and is the debut collection of short stores from Jhumpa Lahiri.

From the back:

"A writer of uncommon sensitivity and restraint...Ms. Lahiri expertly captures the out-of-context lives of immigrants, expatriates, and first-generation Americans" (Wall Street Journal). In stories that travel from India to America and back again, Lahiri speaks with universal eloquence to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner.

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I can see why this has been widely aclaimed. Lahiri's collection of short stories is stunning. My two favorite stories were "When Mr. Pirzada Came To Dine" and "The Third and Final Continent" but there really isn't a bad story in the bunch. I really enjoyed the collection and read it in just a few hours.

Journal Entry 2 by alrescate from Strafford, Missouri USA on Thursday, November 06, 2003
This is on the way to another Bookcrosser.

Journal Entry 3 by JesseBC from Duluth, Minnesota USA on Monday, November 10, 2003
Received today! Thank you! Did you want me to just release this when done? Or do you want me to do a completely wild release with it? I wasn't sure from your note.

Journal Entry 4 by JesseBC from Duluth, Minnesota USA on Sunday, November 30, 2003
To go to Red or possible bookray when I'm done.

Journal Entry 5 by JesseBC from Duluth, Minnesota USA on Sunday, December 21, 2003
Order for a bookray:

Red
Dopeyk17
Ilios
MazieNH
Zarylia
Ramya
Catwoman
paultopia <--- on its way

Journal Entry 6 by JesseBC from Duluth, Minnesota USA on Monday, June 21, 2004
A neat collection of short stories documenting the experiences of Indian immigrants. I found the stories a mixed bag, some I'd rate higher than others, resulting in an average of probably a 7. My favorite was A Temporary Matter, probing a troubled couples' ability to be honest with one another and the value and destructive potential of total honesty. The title story, Interpreter of Maladies, talks about the responsibility of the interpreter (similar to that of the author) to accurately convey experiences to those who do not understand. Mrs. Sen's shows what comes of independence in trying to adjust to a new culture and The Third and Final Continent made me think of the points in life when you can look back and realize how truly full your life has been. Other than those, I unfortunately found the other stories overly bogged down in details until they became fairly forgettable.

Journal Entry 7 by JesseBC at postal release in Palatine, Illinois -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, June 26, 2004
Released on Saturday, June 26, 2004 at postal release in Palatine, Illinois Controlled Releases.

Off to begin its bookray journey in Palatine!

Journal Entry 8 by JesseBC at postal release in Palatine, Illinois -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Released on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 at postal release in Palatine, Illinois Controlled Releases.

Oops! It didn't make it into the mail! This time, for real, it's going!

Journal Entry 9 by Red from Arlington Heights, Illinois USA on Monday, August 02, 2004
Been looking forward to this one and started reading it immediately. Thank you so much!

Journal Entry 10 by Red from Arlington Heights, Illinois USA on Thursday, August 12, 2004
Loved these stories. First heard and enjoyed "This Blessed House" read on NPR and have been wanting this book since. But must say the last story in the collection "The Third and Final Continent" moved me the most.

Rhythmbiscuit has opted out of this bookray, so tomorrow this is headed to Dopeyk17. Enjoy!

***(Addendum: Didn't actually get this off until Aug. 19)***

Journal Entry 11 by DopeyK17 from Factoryville, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Received in the mail today. I have one and a half other titles in front of this one, so it may be a few weeks before I get it off to the next person, but I'll journal again when I'm done. Having loved The Namesake, I'm anxious to read this.

Journal Entry 12 by DopeyK17 from Factoryville, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, October 09, 2004
I loved The Namesake and I loved this collection. While there were one or two fizzlers, the overall collection was tight. I'll be anxiously watching for Lahiri's next book. Going back to JesseBC for forwarding to Malaysia.

Journal Entry 13 by JesseBC at Controlled Release in New Albany, Indiana -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, January 18, 2005
RELEASE NOTES:


Journal Entry 14 by JesseBC at Bookring in Tampa, Florida -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (1/18/2005 UTC) at Bookring in Tampa, Florida -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Let's try that again; this is going to Florida, not Indiana!

Journal Entry 15 by Ilios from Tampa, Florida USA on Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Just got this book today. I absolutely loved The Namesake, so I am really looking forward to read this one. I have a few rings and rays in front of this one, but I'll try to read a story at a time and not hog this book for too long. Thank you for sharing this, alrescate!

Update 3/13/04
I contacted the organizer of the ray last week because I noticed that the next BXer in line is in Poland and I cannot afford to ship int'l. While I wait for an answer from JesseBC, I'll continue on my way through this book. So far, I have read 3 stories and I can definetely recognize Jhumpa Lahiri's style.


Update 4/26/05
PMed MazieNH today.

Journal Entry 16 by Ilios from Tampa, Florida USA on Sunday, May 01, 2005
I finished this book yesterday and I agree with the BXers that thought it was a mixed bag. I read The Namesake sometime ago, through a bookring as well, and had high expectations about this one. I think I preferred The Namesake because the characters had more time to be developed.

My favorite stories are "When Mr. Pirzada came to dine", "Mrs Sen", and "The third and final continent". On the first two, I enjoyed the way Ms. Lahiri describes the slowly building bond between adults and children. The last one has a special meaning for me: I am in my third continent as well and I hope it will be the last. I also love this story because, as far as I can remember, it's the only one in which marriage is shown in a positive light.
On The Namesake, "A temporary matter", "Sexy", "This blessed house", and even "Mrs. Sen", marriage is an obligation and most characters are either hypocritical regarding marriage or distant from each other because the marriage was arranged. Although I can understand it is still a tradition very much alive in Indian culture, it is very disturbing to me.

Overall, this is a very good book. I am glad I read The Namesake first, though. I will be looking forward to read other books by Jhumpa Lahiri in the future.

RELEASE NOTES:

I am mailing this book to MazieNH today. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 18 by MazieNH from Hooksett, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, May 07, 2005
arrived in the mail - will move it along as soon as I can. Thanks!

Journal Entry 19 by MazieNH from Hooksett, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, May 18, 2005
I enjoyed this collection very much, though it was not as polished as her novel, The Namesake, in my opinion. Lahiri has a knack for both beautiful prose, and strong characterization.

A Temporary Matter was my favorite story, and I enjoyed Mrs Sen also.

I agree with the other reader who thought Lahiri's views on marriage were rather negative.

I've bene in touch with Zarylia - she (?) is moving from Poland to the US imminently and expects to arrive in late June. Rather than risk missing her in Poland with the book, I will send it to her new US address in a few weeks, upon her arrival (unless the organizer prefers I mail it to the next recipient instead?).

Thanks for sharing your book!

Journal Entry 20 by MazieNH at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Released 13 yrs ago (7/5/2005 UTC) at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

off to Zarylia

Journal Entry 21 by Zarylia from Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Saturday, August 06, 2005
Paynesville/MN/USA - Sorry about the delay. The book arrived while I was visiting my grandma, and I found it sitting on my bed upon returning home. I've already finished two of the stories and am loving it. I've got a couple other bookrings to get through first, but I think this one will go quite fast. Thanks everyone!

Journal Entry 22 by Zarylia from Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Friday, September 02, 2005
Paynesville/MN/USA - What a wonderful book. Each story was radiant individually, though I think they stand stronger as a collection. I am loathe to choose favorites, however I find myself agreeing that I found "When Mr. Pirzada Came To Dine" and "The Third and Final Continent" to stand out among the rest. The way Lahiri manages to capture to feeling of a situation or a relationship with such simplicity is incredible. For everyone who enjoyed this book I would highly recommend Arranged Marriage: Stories by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Thanks to everyone for getting this book into my hands. I'll journal again as soon as the book is on it's way.

Journal Entry 23 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Received in yesterday's mail.
Thanks, Zarylia, for the neat Polish postcard!

Journal Entry 24 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I'm sorry! I've had this book far too long. I'm going out of town tomorrow, but when I return at the end of the month, I'll send this book on to Catwoman. I've picked up another copy at a library booksale, so I'll be registering, reading, and eventually releasing that one.

Journal Entry 25 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Friday, April 14, 2006
Well, I ended up reading this copy. I found most of these stories very sad and almost didn't finish reading the book, but The Third and Final Continent was wonderful. And by showing, albeit very compacted, a full life span with ups as well as downs, one might see in this story how the other ones might turn out once the characters moved beyond that brief period of time that we were allowed to see and the difficult circumstances that most seemed to end with: after a trial separation in A Temporary Matter, the couple might reunite; Twinkle and Sanjeev (This Blessed House) might become more accommodating and understanding of the other (I loved her delight in all of the Christian objects, but I saw her complete indifference to his feelings as source of a lot of future trouble in that marriage. It's not that I need happy endings all the time -- life is a mix of happiness, sadness, tragedy, etc... -- but I found most of the stories unrelievedly depressing and so especially appreciated the last one, which did suggest that mix.

I'm glad for the chance to have read this, after its been on my TBR list for a while. And after reading others' comments, I am looking forward to The Namesake (also on my TBR list for a while!)

I'll be mailing this off to Catwoman tomorrow, and just anticipating that sending by marking the status "traveling" now.

Journal Entry 26 by Catwoman from Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada on Monday, April 24, 2006
Received in the mail today. Perfect timing as I just finished another book yesterday, and was having a tough time picking my next read.

Journal Entry 27 by Catwoman from Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada on Friday, April 28, 2006
I love this author's style of writing. My favorites were"When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine" and "The Third and Final Continent". Waiting for paultopia's address.

Released 13 yrs ago (6/26/2006 UTC) at fellow bookcrossing member in by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

I haven't been able to contact the ray organizer. Passing this book on to gnissorckoob who has it on her wish list.

Journal Entry 29 by gnissorckoob from Miami, Florida USA on Thursday, July 06, 2006
Thank you so much, Cat. I am reading a couple of other books now, but I will set them aside and dive into this now. I really liked The Namesake .

Update 7/12/06 - I am really liking this book. I've read the first two stories. I was really taken with "A Temporary Matter." I read and re-read sections of it. Unfortunately though, folks, I have to break it to you that the pages are falling out of the book as I read. What to do?

7/17/06 - Pages are all fixed, thanks to The Advanced Questions forum.

Journal Entry 30 by gnissorckoob from Miami, Florida USA on Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Wow. For my taste, one of the best if not the best single-author short story collection I have read. Just finished it today and have wiped away the tears streaming down by face from "The Third and Final Continent" (good tears). I would go crazy trying to pick a favorite; the Bibi Haldar story was the only one that I could not rave about.

I like the way the stories are concise. They do not go on and on. Every word is significant.
I like the cross cultural depth, which manages to make the stories universal even when about ostensibly commonplace domestic issues.

Bring on more Jhumpa Lahiri.


P.S. Now, who's for Indian food!?

Journal Entry 31 by gnissorckoob from Miami, Florida USA on Friday, July 21, 2006
Packing this off to a deserving bookcrosser who had it on her Cliff's wish list. YOu will be number eleven on this book, alsomama.

Journal Entry 32 by alsomama from Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Thanks, Auntie G. What a well-traveled book! I am honored to be the next one to read it. I will read, report back, and release to someone deserving when I am done. Thanks, again, all!

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