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Interpreter of Maladies

Written by:
Jhumpa Lahiri
Narrated by:
Matilda Novak

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2005
6 hours 17 minutes
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of cultures and generations.

In A Temporary Matter, published in the New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth, while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession.

Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant.
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I disagree with the other two reviewers. I thought these stories were excellent. Their strength is that they are not merely "plot based" and so purposely "go nowhere" - just as life often does. I found each selection to be thought provoking. The book as a whole certainly gave me new insight on the culture of India and empathy for people trying to assimilate into the American way of life.

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Mekhala Acharya

The book is stereotypical but it is also vivid and colorful. Often in the first person, you can visualize the characters and their curries. Lahiri is no doubt very gifted and it is evident in her style of writing. However some of the stories begged for completion and I wish there was more meat to her characters.

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I enjoyed this book very much. (from. Korea)

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One of my all time favorite books. I read it again and again. Love it!

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Anoushka S.

bad pronunciation and accent

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Marcella S

The deeper meaning of these stories continues to occur to me, many days after having listened.

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Eira Glover

I enjoyed the short stories just fine but was not as absorbed as I had hoped to be. I had a major problem with the narrator and I'm not sure if it was in fact her voice that blocked me from further engaging with the stories and book itself. The narrator made the female voices overly high and airy, giving them a childish, superficial sound. I found it incredibly distracting and I think that it had the overall effect of reducing the impact of the writing of Jhumpa Lahiri. I found this a shame!

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Edith kodmur

The book took a while before I became really emotionally involved with the characters. The title story was my most favorite...perhaps because it was a bit longer? Ms. Lahiri is obviously a keen observer of people and she brings that together with her imagination and writing skills, a great combination for the reader.

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I love Jhumpa Lahiri, and this book is pretty different than the rest of her books, and some of the stories are the best that I read from her so far (but not all, therefore the 4 stars). It is melancholic, sad and beautiful. The book deals with relationships, people and immigration (even though not as strongly as in "The Namesake" or "Unaccustomed Earth"). Lahiri is an amazing writer that succeeds to describe vividly the inner world of her characters, their hopes, dreams, and memories, their relationships, fears and struggles. I mostly loved "Mrs. Sen's", "A Temporary Matter", "Sexy", "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine", which were just brilliant, and deserve at least 5 stars.

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I was disappointed after listening to this book. I had previously listened to her other book "Namesake" and had really enjoyed the story. The short stories in this book were anticlimactic. A lot of the stories lead nowhere and left me with an empty feeling. I felt as if there was no completion. Hopefully her next book will be better.

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