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Jhumpa Lahiri

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Name  Jhumpa Lahiri

Role  Author
Poignant books by Jhumpa Lahiri we all should read | The Times of India

Born
  11 July 1967 (age 53) London, England (1967-07-11)
Alma mater  Barnard CollegeBoston University
Genre  Novel, short story, postcolonial
Notable works  Interpreter of Maladies (1999)The Namesake (2003)Unaccustomed Earth (2008)The Lowland (2013)
Notable awards  1999 O. Henry Award2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Spouse  Alberto Vourvoulias (m. 2001)
Awards  Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Movies and TV shows  The Namesake, MTVU Stand In
Education  South Kingstown High School, Boston University, Barnard College
Books  The Lowland, The Namesake, Interpreter of Maladies, Unaccustomed Earth, One World: A Global Antholog
Similar People  Alberto Vourvoulias, Arundhati Roy, Mira Nair, Amitav Ghosh, Kiran Desai

At home with jhumpa lahiri


Nilanjana Sudeshna "Jhumpa" Lahiri (Bengali: ঝুম্পা লাহিড়ী; born on July 11, 1967) is an American author. Lahiri has been selected as the winner of the 29th PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short story. Lahiri's debut short story collection Interpreter of Maladies (1999) won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into the popular film of the same name. She was born Nilanjana Sudeshna but goes by her nickname Jhumpa. Lahiri was a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama. (She resigned from the President's Committee in August, 2017, co-signing a letter of resignation that said in reference to President Trump, "Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions.") Her book The Lowland, published in 2013, was a nominee for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction. Lahiri is currently a professor of creative writing at Princeton University.

Contents

Jhumpa Lahiri Booker Prize 2013 Jhumpa Lahiri interview Telegraph

Jhumpa lahiri on writing her family and the immigrant experience


Biography

Jhumpa Lahiri Jhumpa Lahiri On Dislocation WSJ

Lahiri was born in London, the daughter of Bengali Indian emigrants from the state of West Bengal. Her family moved to the United States when she was two; Lahiri considers herself an American, stating, "I wasn't born here, but I might as well have been." Lahiri grew up in Kingston, Rhode Island, where her father Amar Lahiri works as a librarian at the University of Rhode Island; he is the basis for the protagonist in "The Third and Final Continent," the closing story from Interpreter of Maladies. Lahiri's mother wanted her children to grow up knowing their Bengali heritage, and her family often visited relatives in Calcutta (now Kolkata).

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When she began kindergarten in Kingston, Rhode Island, Lahiri's teacher decided to call her by her pet name, Jhumpa, because it was easier to pronounce than her "proper name." Lahiri recalled, "I always felt so embarrassed by my name.... You feel like you're causing someone pain just by being who you are." Lahiri's ambivalence over her identity was the inspiration for the ambivalence of Gogol, the protagonist of her novel The Namesake, over his unusual name. Lahiri graduated from South Kingstown High School and received her B.A. in English literature from Barnard College in 1989.

Jhumpa Lahiri An Interview with Jhumpa Lahiri Parul Sehgal

Lahiri then received multiple degrees from Boston University: an M.A. in English, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, an M.A. in Comparative Literature, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies. She took a fellowship at Provincetown's Fine Arts Work Center, which lasted for the next two years (1997–1998). Lahiri has taught creative writing at Boston University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Jhumpa Lahiri Book club with Jhumpa Lahiri Books The Guardian

In 2001, Lahiri married Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, a journalist who was then deputy editor of TIME Latin America, and who is now senior editor of TIME Latin America. Lahiri lives in Rome with her husband and their two children, Octavio (b. 2002) and Noor (b. 2005). Lahiri joined the Princeton University faculty on July 1, 2015 as a professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Literary career

Lahiri's early short stories faced rejection from publishers "for years." Her debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, was finally released in 1999. The stories address sensitive dilemmas in the lives of Indians or Indian immigrants, with themes such as marital difficulties, the bereavement over a stillborn child, and the disconnection between first and second generation United States immigrants. Lahiri later wrote, "When I first started writing I was not conscious that my subject was the Indian-American experience. What drew me to my craft was the desire to force the two worlds I occupied to mingle on the page as I was not brave enough, or mature enough, to allow in life." The collection was praised by American critics, but received mixed reviews in India, where reviewers were alternately enthusiastic and upset Lahiri had "not paint[ed] Indians in a more positive light." "Many people criticise her by saying that she, in her stories, has portrayed India in [an] unclear, untrue and faulty manner. But, it is really painful for any writer living far away in a new state, leaving his/her own homeland behind; the motherland, the environment, people, culture etc. constantly echo in the writer’s (and of course anybody else’s) mind. So, the manner of trying to imagine and describe about the motherland and its people deserves esteem. I think that we should coin a new term, i.e. 'distant-author' and add it to Lahiri’s name since she, being a part of another country, has taken the help of 'imagination' and depicted her India the way she has wanted to; the writer must have every possible right to paint the world the way he/she thinks appropriate." Interpreter of Maladies sold 600,000 copies and received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (only the seventh time a story collection had won the award).

In 2003, Lahiri published The Namesake, her first novel. The story spans over 30 years in the life of the Ganguli family. The Calcutta-born parents immigrated as young adults to the United States, where their children, Gogol and Sonia, grow up experiencing the constant generational and cultural gap with their parents. A film adaptation of The Namesake was released in March 2007, directed by Mira Nair and starring Kal Penn as Gogol and Bollywood stars Tabu and Irrfan Khan as his parents. Lahiri herself made a cameo as "Aunt Jhumpa."

Lahiri's second collection of short stories, Unaccustomed Earth, was released on April 1, 2008. Upon its publication, Unaccustomed Earth achieved the rare distinction of debuting at number 1 on The New York Times best seller list. New York Times Book Review editor, Dwight Garner, stated, "It’s hard to remember the last genuinely serious, well-written work of fiction—particularly a book of stories—that leapt straight to No. 1; it’s a powerful demonstration of Lahiri’s newfound commercial clout."

Lahiri has also had a distinguished relationship with The New Yorker magazine in which she has published a number of her short stories, mostly fiction, and a few non-fiction including The Long Way Home; Cooking Lessons, a story about the importance of food in Lahiri's relationship with her mother.

Since 2005, Lahiri has been a vice president of the PEN American Center, an organization designed to promote friendship and intellectual cooperation among writers.

In February 2010, she was appointed a member of the Committee on the Arts and Humanities, along with five others.

In September 2013, her novel The Lowland was placed on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, which ultimately went to The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. The following month it was also long-listed for the National Book Award for Fiction, and revealed to be a finalist on October 16, 2013. However, on November 20, 2013, it lost out for that award to James McBride and his novel The Good Lord Bird.

In December 2015, Lahiri published a non-fiction essay called "Teach Yourself Italian" in The New Yorker about her experience learning Italian. In the essay she declared that she is now only writing in Italian, and the essay itself was translated from Italian to English.

Jhumpa Lahiri was judged as the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015 for her book The Lowland (Vintage Books/ Random House, India) at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival for which she entered Limca Book of Records.

Literary focus

Lahiri's writing is characterized by her "plain" language and her characters, often Indian immigrants to America who must navigate between the cultural values of their homeland and their adopted home. Lahiri's fiction is autobiographical and frequently draws upon her own experiences as well as those of her parents, friends, acquaintances, and others in the Bengali communities with which she is familiar. Lahiri examines her characters' struggles, anxieties, and biases to chronicle the nuances and details of immigrant psychology and behavior.

Until Unaccustomed Earth, she focused mostly on first-generation Indian American immigrants and their struggle to raise a family in a country very different from theirs. Her stories describe their efforts to keep their children acquainted with Indian culture and traditions and to keep them close even after they have grown up in order to hang onto the Indian tradition of a joint family, in which the parents, their children and the children's families live under the same roof.

Unaccustomed Earth departs from this earlier original ethos, as Lahiri's characters embark on new stages of development. These stories scrutinize the fate of the second and third generations. As succeeding generations become increasingly assimilated into American culture and are comfortable in constructing perspectives outside of their country of origin, Lahiri's fiction shifts to the needs of the individual. She shows how later generations depart from the constraints of their immigrant parents, who are often devoted to their community and their responsibility to other immigrants.

Television

Lahiri worked on the third season of the HBO television program In Treatment. That season featured a character named Sunil, a widower who moves to the United States from India and struggles with grief and with culture shock. Although she is credited as a writer on these episodes, her role was more as a consultant on how a Bengali man might perceive Brooklyn.

Awards

  • 1993 – TransAtlantic Award from the Henfield Foundation
  • 1999 – O. Henry Award for short story "Interpreter of Maladies"
  • 1999 – PEN/Hemingway Award (Best Fiction Debut of the Year) for "Interpreter of Maladies"
  • 1999 – "Interpreter of Maladies" selected as one of Best American Short Stories
  • 2000 – Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • 2000 – "The Third and Final Continent" selected as one of Best American Short Stories
  • 2000 – The New Yorker's Best Debut of the Year for "Interpreter of Maladies"
  • 2000 – Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her debut "Interpreter of Maladies"
  • 2000 – James Beard Foundation's M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for "Indian Takeout" in Food & Wine Magazine
  • 2002 – Guggenheim Fellowship
  • 2002 – "Nobody's Business" selected as one of Best American Short Stories
  • 2008 – Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for "Unaccustomed Earth"
  • 2009 – Asian American Literary Award for "Unaccustomed Earth"
  • 2009 – Premio Gregor von Rezzori for foreign fiction translated into Italian for "Unaccustomed Earth" ("Una nuova terra"), translated by Federica Oddera (Guanda)
  • 2014 – DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for The Lowland
  • 2014 – National Humanities Medal
  • References

    Jhumpa Lahiri Wikipedia


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