Both the novel and movie adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's first full-length novel, "The Namesake," touched me tremendously. Having won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000, I knew I had to give Lahiri's critically acclaimed debut, "Interpreter of Maladies," a go.
After reading these 9 tour de force short stories, it becomes obvious that "The Namesake" is an expansion on some of the themes found in these short stories - culture, traditions, family, upbringing, love, betrayal, redemption.
Lahiri's writings evoke not just the feelings of uncertainty and inner turmoil of every immigrant as they set out on a new journey, but of hope and fulfillment too. I could easily relate to the characters - aliens in a new surrounding, trying to get a foothold in an unknown land, eventually taking root and propagating generations with differing outlooks. The voice she gives to them all makes her truly an interpreter of maladies of their hearts.