Jhumpa Lahiri Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

In addition to her short fiction collection, Jhumpa Lahiri has written a nonfiction work, Accursed Palace: The Italian Palazzo on the Jacobean Stage (1603-1625), which was published in 1997.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Despite her modest output, Jhumpa Lahiri has received an impressive number of awards and honors. Recipient of the Henfield Award and the Fiction Prize (from Transatlantic Review and Louisville Review respectively), she has been hailed in The New Yorker‘s “Future of American Fiction” issue as one of the country’s best young writers, has had one story, “Interpreter of Maladies,” selected for both The Best American Short Stories 1999 and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and was appointed the 1999 Margaret Bridgman Fellow in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Bellafante, Ginia. “Windows into Life.” Time 154 (August 2, 1999): 91. Bellafante maintains that Lahiri and Gish Jen—Who’s Irish: Stories (1999)—are two of the best of the young writers who have published collections of short stories this summer. Lahiri’s strength is her “gift for illuminating the full meaning of brief relationships” of various kinds.

Crain, Caleb. “Subcontinental Drift.” The New York Times Book Review, July 11, 1999, 11-12. In Lahiri’s seductive, “elegantly constructed” stories, “the pang of disappointment turns into a sudden hunger to know more” on the part of both characters and readers.

Curtis, Sarah. “Strangers and Neighbours.” The Times Literary Supplement, October 22, 1999, 25. In these stories of “isolation and displacement,” Lahiri goes well beyond typical Indian-immigrant fiction, utilizing her “ability to delineate in telling detail the mores of both [Indian and American] societies” in order to “illuminate human nature” in general.

Flynn, Sean. “Jhumpa Lahiri.” Esquire 134 (October, 2000): 172. Flynn recounts his meeting with Lahiri when she worked for Boston magazine in the summer of 1997. He discusses the success of her book.

“Jhumpa Lahiri.” People 54 (December 25, 2000): 138. A brief profile indicating the popular reception of Lahiri’s collection and her elevation to the status of a personality.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Liking America, but Longing for India.” The New York Times, August 6, 1999, p. E48. Praising Lahiri’s “wonderfully distinctive new voice” and “eloquent and assured style,” Kakutani contends that the “cultural displacement” that connects Lahiri’s stories serves as “a kind of index of a more existential sense of dislocation.”

Keesey, Anna. “Four New Collections Show the Elastic Quality of Short Fiction.” The Chicago Tribune, August 8, 1999, p. 4. Lahiri’s fiction “deals tenderly with the difficulties of the expatriate.” Although not averse to including “vivid, aromatic details” of Indian life, she is most effective when most retrained and austere.

O’Grady, Megan. Review of Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. The Village Voice 104 (April 19, 1999): 59-60. According to O’Grady, Interpreter of Maladies “speaks to anyone who has ever felt like a foreigner—at home or abroad.” Although marriage may be her “richest domain,” the “awe she invokes in her characters as they cross barriers of nations and generations” is present in all nine stories.

Todd, Tamsin. “At the Corner Delhi.” The Washington Post, October 7, 1999, p. C8. After Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things), Lahiri has been anointed “the next subcontinental sensation”; fortunately her fiction proves her a worthy candidate: original, “accomplished, insightful and deeply American.”