Books like Interpreter of Maladies
Interpreter of Maladies
2000, Jhumpa Lahiri
Interpreter of Maladies is a book collection of nine short stories by American author of Indian origin Jhumpa Lahiri published in 1999. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in the year 2000 and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. It was also chosen as The New Yorker's Best Debut of the Year and is on Oprah Winfrey's Top Ten Book List.
The stories are about the lives of Indians and Indian Americans who are caught between their roots and the "New World".
A married couple, Shukumar and Shoba, live as strangers in their house until an electrical outage brings them together when all of sudden "they [are] able to talk to each other again" in the four nights of darkness. From the point of view of Shukumar, we are given bits and pieces of memory which slowly gives insight into what has caused the distance in the marriage. For a brief moment, it seems the distance is nothing but perhaps a result of a disagreement. However, descriptions of Shukumar and Shoba's changed physical appearances begin to hint at something much more than a lovers’ quarrel. We soon find out that both characters’ worn outward appearance results from their internal, emotional strife that has caused such deeply woven alienation from each other.