Friday, October 07, 2005

Book review: The Interpreter of Maladies

I just finished The Interpreter of Maladies, a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. The author is of Indian descent, born in England and raised in New England. She spent several years in Boston getting a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies (I assume that means studying the Renaissance but I really have no clue. Let's move on.). Writers are often told "Write what you know" and Lahiri certainly seems to have heeded that advice: all of the stories involve at least one Indian character, and many of them are set in the Boston area. In this case, the formula works wonderfully. Lahiri crafts interesting characters and presents little slices of their lives to readers. I hadn't read a short stories in a long time, and I liked the fact that I could polish off a story on my bus ride to work in the morning. I finished the last one this morning and now I'm sad that there aren't any more to read on my way home today.

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