This is a complete list of Jhumpa Lahiri books in publication and chronological order, broken down by series or category.
October 10th, 2023: Roman Stories
Jhumpa Lahiri (Nilanjana Sudeshna Lahiri) was born on July 11th, 1967 and is currently 56 years old. Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London, England.
Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of the Jhumpa Lahiri Collections series which currently consists of 3 novels. The Jhumpa Lahiri Collections series started in 1999 with the novel Interpreter of Maladies. The most recently released novel in the Jhumpa Lahiri Collections series was Unaccustomed Earth which was released in 2008. There is an upcoming novel for the Jhumpa Lahiri Collections series entitled Roman Stories which is being released on October 10th, 2023.
Jhumpa Lahiri books have been nominated for multiple awards, The Namesake was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Best Fiction, in 2003 as well as the Audie Award - Best Fiction in 2004. The Lowland was nominated for the Goodreads Awards, Best Fiction, in 2013 as well as the Booker Prize - Best Fiction Book in 2013, National Book Awards - Best Fiction in 2013 and the Women's Prize - For Fiction in 2014.
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Me again back with another bio of an author! Enjoy writing these.
Jhumpa Lahiri is a literary fiction author from the United Kingdom whose works are about the East Indian immigrant experience.
She was the daughter of a university librarian father and a schoolteacher mother both from Calcutta. Her parents moved to London and then to the United Kingdom before they made their home in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Despite moving to the United States, her Bengali parents always taught Lahiri and their siblings the importance of maintaining and taking pride in their East Indian culture.
In school, her teachers encouraged her to keep Jhumpa which was the family nickname she used to go by for the longest time.
Before she joined college, she used to be a prolific writer but it was not until her graduation from Barnard College with an English literature degree that she embraced a creative writing career.
By the 1990s, she had a Boston University doctorate degree in Renaissance studies and a comparative literature and creative writing master’s.
Lahiri has also been granted honorary degrees from the University of Bologna and the University of Siena in Italy and the University of Rhode Island, Williams College, and The University of Pennsylvania in the United States.
While Jhumpa Lahiri was in graduate school and soon after graduating, she published several short fiction works in magazines such as Story Quarterly, Harvard Review, and The New Yorker.
These stories would later be published in the 1999 published collection “Interpreter of Maladies.”
Among her nine stories, some were set on the East Coast in the United States and others were in Calcutta that examined themes such as loss of culture, arranged marriages, dislocation, and alienation.
They also provided insights into the Indian immigrant experience in addition to the lives of Calcuttans.
She would then try her hand at the 2006 published “The Namesake,” in which she examined themes of conflict and identity produced by immigration.
In this work, she followed the life and times of a Bengali family that moved to the US.
In 2008, Jhumpa once again went back to short fiction and published a collection titled “Unaccustomed Earth,” which is also inspired by immigration experiences right from the very early days right to assimilation.
In 2015, she published “In Other Words” otherwise known in Italian as “In altre parole.” This was a meditation on her immersion in another language and culture.
Lahiri has continued writing in Italian and now says she is more comfortable writing in the language as compared to English.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s teaching interests include the theory and practice of literary translation, the diary as literary form and craft, the Italian short story, Classical adaptation and reception, and exophonic writers.
At Princeton University, she was the founder of the first interdisciplinary course in Leonora Carrington, the surrealist painter, and writer.
She was also director of the institution’s creative writing program for several years and helped to launch the translator in residence program.
She has also received multiple recognitions including the Hemingway/PEN Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Lahiri is also a member of the board of the Provincetown-based Fine Arts Work Center and is part of the Nuovi Argomenti, the historic Italian literary journal editorial committee.
In 2012, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2016, Barack Obama granted her a National Humanities Medal.
“The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri is an enriched version of her bestselling collection that also speaks to themes such as the clash of cultures, the immigrant experience, and even more important, the intricate ties between generations.
The work follows the Ganguli family who are in the process of getting assimilated into America after arriving from Calcutta. Following closely from their arranged wedding, Ashima and Ashoke Ganguli make their home in Cambridge Massachusetts.
Ashoke is a trained engineer who is less wary about adapting as compared to his wife who pines for her family and resists all things American.
Upon the birth of his son, the naming ceremony shows how much they are vexed by how much change they are forced to deal with as they adapt to the new world.
His Indian parents name him after a Russian writer in memory of a horrible catastrophe. But Gogol Ganguli realizes that he will have to deal with the burden of his odd antic name as well as his Indian heritage.
Gogol is an empathetic character and we feel for him as he struggles as a first-generation immigrant, as he has to deal with wrenching love affairs, comic detours, and conflicting loyalties.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies” is a work that evokes the experiences of immigrants as they suffer cultural displacement in their adopted and native countries as they begin new lives abroad.
Full of colorful details of Indian celebrations, cuisine, and traditions, the collection is about the universal struggle of getting used to new ways when one gets to the homeland and trying their best not to lose their roots.
Lahiri writes in simple and fluid prose as she adeptly builds bridges into different worlds. Men and women are looking for balance while living in arranged marriages, even as they resist the strain of guilt, isolation, and homesickness.
The characters in these stories live in a tension-filled duality of being new immigrants who are proud that they left behind their homes to build new prosperous lives in the United States.
Nonetheless, the Indian heritage is the catalyst for events that happen in slow motion-like sequences and ultimately result in an anticlimactic consequence that is smothered by the many other troubles the immigrants have to deal with.
“Unaccustomed Earth” is a collection of stories set in a world unused to changes and shifts happening on its surface. It is a world that has to deal with loss and destruction brought on by tsunamis and hurricanes.
The inhabitants are also unfamiliar with modern traumas and diseases and are not too sure about the cultural and class conflicts that abound in the new world unrecognizable world.
Lahiri depicts universal situations even though the setting is a modern society. What makes this work so riveting and yet so accomplished is the fact that the author is less about style and more about substance.
She writes of real people that we hate and love, people we know that find themselves in difficult circumstances.
They tell of the people we love most letting us down since they cannot have healthy relationships such as the lead in “Nobody’s Business” or parents that finally abandon or return to us in the story “Year’s End.”
It is all straightforward storytelling with no gimmicks with every story grabbing its readers and never letting go right to the end.
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