Novel: Interpreter Of Maladies
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Source: OC Public Library
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of short stories written beautifully. I listened to the audiobook version of the book, read by Matilda Novak.
Each story is unique and some of them are heartwarming. Most of them highlight the life of Indian Immigrants in America.
The first one “A Temporary Matter” is the story of a couple dealing with grave loss. Everyone says that with each loss or hardship that a couple faces, makes their bond stronger. But this story says otherwise. Grief is such a powerful emotion, it can even break tighter bonds.
“Interpreter of Maladies”, is a story of a tour guide Mr. Kapasi, also an interpreter at a Doctor’s office. Currently, he is giving a tour to Mr. and Mrs. Das and their two children. Mrs. Das praises his job as an interpreter. And soon Mr. Kapasi starts developing an attraction towards Mrs. Das. He day-dreams about having long distance communication with Mrs. Das. But all this evaporates once Mrs. Das shares about her affair.
“A Real Durwan”, is the story of Boori Ma, an old woman, who sweeps staircase of an old building. In exchange, the residents allow her to sleep in front of the main gate. One day, while she is out, a theft occurs in the building. Everyone blames her, that she let the thieves in. They throw her out of the building. Just like that, a trusted woman becomes the most hated one. And an old woman not only loses her job but also a roof over her head.
“Mrs. Sen” is the story of a lonely wife who is finding difficult to adjust to American life. She likes to cook fish and has a preference towards raw fish. The fish market is far. Her husband becomes irritated when she asks him to bring fish. She has to learn to drive to buy fish on her own. But finds it difficult to learn driving.
Her stories are simple, yet powerful. I have never read a book with short stories. This is the first one. And I wasn’t disappointed. Some stories made me emotional, others made me laugh and few made me thoughtful. It is more than enough for me from stories like these.
I would recommend reading this one at least once. Have you read “Interpreter of Maladies”. Did you enjoy it?