(Last Updated on : 28/02/2012)
Jhumpa Lahiri is indeed the storyteller who weaves the lace of love, identity, crisis, lies and faults in a matured way. Her works are enriched with sensitive dilemmas in life. Characters in her books experience the cultural as well as the generation gaps. She, therefore, comments on the effects of Western colonialism on Indians and Indians in Diaspora. Jhumpa Lahiri is not only a writer but the weaver of dreams, the fabricator of emotion and therefore her each and every novel becomes an outlet for her emotions.
Early Life of Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri, a Bengali American author, was born in 1967 in London to a Bengali parent. She moved to South Kingstown, Rhode Island when she was child. Jhumpa Lahiri learned her Bengali heritage from her mother from a very early age. Jhumpa Lahiri is a daughter of a librarian and schoolteacher. She has always been inclined to creative writing.
Jhumpa Lahiri received her B.A in English literature from Barnard College in 1989 and M.A in Creative Writing, Comparative Literature from Boston University. She also received her Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies from Boston University. She took up a fellowship at Provincetown`s Fine Arts Work Centre in 1997.
Carrer in Writing for Jhumpa Lahiri
Right from a very young age she felt strong ties for her parents` homeland India, as well as the United States and England. A sense of homelessness and an inability to feel accepted took place as she grew up with ties to all three countries. To her it is an inheritance of her parents` ties to India.
At a press conference in Kolkata
this absence of belongingness comes out of her word "No country is my motherland. I always find myself in exile in whichever country I travel to, that`s why I was tempted to write something about those living their lives in exile". We find the idea of exile through out her work "Interpreter of Maladies
". The collection of nine distinct stories revolves around the first and second-generation Indian immigrants and the idea of otherness among the country. The story theme also includes the marital difficulties. It won `Pulitzer Prize` in 2000 for fiction. In addition it received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Addison Metcalf Award, The Transatlantic Review award from Henfield Foundation, The Louisiana Review award for short fiction, the O.Henry Award for Best American Short Stories, and a nomination for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Guggenheim fellowship was awarded to her in the year 2002.
Jhumpa Lahiri made her debut as novelist with "The Namesake" in 2003. The story of the novel reveals the cultural and generational gaps between the parents. The storyline revolves around parents who have immigrated to the United States born in Kolkata, West Bengal
, and their son American-born Gogol, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family`s unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways. A film was made based upon her novel.
Jhumpa Lahiri also wrote "Indian Holy Song" in 2000, "A temporary Prayer: What Happens when the Lights go out" in 1998, "Sexy" in 1998 and "The Third and Final Continent" in 1999.
Jhumpa Lahiri exploded onto the literary sense from 1999. In her short career no sign of slowing down appears till date. Reader`s curiosity brings her audience together and they seem to be mesmerized by her writings. It is difficult to compare Jhumpa Lahiri`s work to many other Indian or Indian-American authors. Lahiri is also able to draw her readers into the story through her details and by making her readers feel the emotional, physical, and mental needs of the characters.
Personal Life of Jhumpa Lahiri
She married Alberto Vourvoulias Bush in 2001. They have two children from their marriage.
Books Written by Jhumpa Lahiri
Short Story Collections
* Interpreter of Maladies (1999)
* Unaccustomed Earth (2008)
* The Namesake (2003)
* Cooking Lessons: The Long Way Home" (6 September 2004, The New Yorker)
* Improvisations: Rice" (23 November 2009, The New Yorker)
* Reflections: Notes from a Literary Apprenticeship" (13 June 2011, The New Yorker)
Awards Received by Jhumpa Lahiri
* 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"