Interpreter of Maladies: Book Review by Asha Seth

#MyThoughts: No writer has the eye for details to real life situations as Lahiri.

Interpreter of Maladies that won the Pulitzer Award is deeply enthralling with simple but intensely emotional short stories that change your perspective of a lot of matters.

Interpreter of maladies
Image Credit: Goodreads

The book is not a novel but a collection of nine short stories.

  1. A Temporary Matter
  2. When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
  3. Interpreter of Maladies
  4. A Real Durwan
  5. Sexy
  6. Mrs. Sen’s
  7. This Blessed House
  8. The Treatment of Bibi Haldar
  9. The Third and Final Continent

What I felt

Each story tends to leave a mark in your memory with an insightful message to learn from. This piece specifically is beautifully sad, sentimentally intense and one that makes you stop and read again.

There are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.

Jhumpa’s exquisite writing manages to run through you as though you were one of the characters of the story. She intricately defines how the characters struggle to maintain a balance between their culture and their newly adopted lifestyles in foreign countries. Places, names, food, religion, and everything from Indian origin are beautifully described in her books that give the reader a first-hand knowledge about Indian culture and traditions that make Jhumpa one of the most sought-after authors.

The back of the book said, “Jhumpa Lahiri is the kind of writer who makes you want to grab the next person you see and say, ‘Read this’.” I am sure each one of you who have read and traveled through the myriad of experiences of this book, will agree to it just like I do.

If you happen to read ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ or have already read it, do share your thoughts below.

©The Musing Quill

P.S.: I haven’t walked past the details of each story. You may find them here.

20 Replies to “Interpreter of Maladies: Book Review by Asha Seth”

  1. Lahiri writes beautifully ..I have loved all her books and loved them ..Reading her books is actually like watching it unfold , the detailing is phenomenal …


  2. Having read it only a few months back, all these stories are still vivid and very much in my heart. 🙂
    Just as reading ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ made me realize the power of Hosseini, ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ did the same for Lahiri. And the line-‘No writer has the eye for details to real life situations as Lahiri’-is what describes Lahiri’s work succinctly and precisely. There might not be suspense every time, there might not be love stories every time, there might not be loss of a beloved every time, but what Lahiri’s stories has is the honesty, the myriad of human emotions; and that is what makes her stand out of the crowd. Love her work! ❤
    I am planning to go through her another short-story collection first, and then will head to a full-fledged novel of hers.


    1. I’m glad you find the review suiting to your thoughts. With Lahiri, for me, it’s never enough. Although it pains me that she writes taking her own time, but the books are always delightful. I wish she more often.
      Read Unaccustomed Earth. And then move on to her novels. That way you’ll grow to like her books even more.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read it almost half a year ago but I still almost have a “memory” (yes its as if I was there as the characters move about and the story unfolds) of where and how the old woman slept in those rainy days and many other plots.
    I enjoyed it thoroughly and as mentioned above it left a mark on me.


    1. Yes, and you will agree more if you’ve read The Lowland. She’s a darn good hand in creating the magic of nostalgia through her words, something I admire her for.


    1. I remember recommending this book to you in Goodreads. I’ll be happy if you do read. I can understand well what you mean having recently come back from a new country. It demands a lot and I’ve realised I’m laid back, not quite open to accepting new things in new surroundings.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah, Goodreads it is rare I go on there properly, usually it logs me in automatically when I go into Facebook. I will certainly be up for reading it one day. Laid back is good, let things wash over you, its the best way!


  4. I’ve been planning to read some book by Jhumpa Lahiri. But I’m unable to decide which one to pick.
    Which one would you suggest? This story one or The Lowland or some other?


“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ― James A. Michener

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