Whereabouts of Jhumpa Lahiri

Being one of the renowned literary figures in Indian Writings in English, Jhumpa Lahiri has crafted fascinating and unique works of fiction narrating the crises and conflicts of the life of modern man.

Most of her works revolve around immigrants, their experiences, and their inner dilemmas in home-away lands. She has addressed identity crisis, cultural conflict and emotional turmoil of people who live abroad.

Now, after a decade, this Pulitzer Prize-winning and Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author published her new novel titled ‘Whereabouts’ in April this year. This book is the English translation of her first Italian novel. Translated to English by the author herself, the book has been published by the Hamish Hamilton imprint of Penguin Random House.

Image Credit: The Mancunion

Whereabouts is the life of an unnamed single woman who leads a quiet life in an Italian city. She lives a solitary life in the city, wandering from coffeeshops to cafes and parties her own. She ponders on the past and reflects upon her present. She often gets anxious about what is waiting for her in the future.

Often commenting on her life as a teacher and writer, she narrates her life, lonely walks in the city and the people around her who fall in fights, love and happiness. The novel is about her freedom, insecurities, rage and hope.

Lahiri does not show any hesitation to unravel the most sensitive and fragile emotional layers of her character. The distant relationship her unnamed character shares with her widowed mother shows the unsettled, restless life of the character. Through her powerful yet soft language, Lahri is capable of capturing the mental turmoil of the protagonist.

Jhumpa Lahiri
Image Credit: Getty Images

Born in London as the daughter of two Indian immigrants, Jhumpa Lahiri’s works often portray the life and experiences of the Indian diasporic community. However, rather than touching upon the surface of immigrant lives, she patiently delves into her characters, converses with them and gradually put those experiences into words.

Though the themes of her works are solid, her language is mild and subtle. Lahiri established her unique space in the literary world through The Interpreter of Maladies (1999), her first short story collection. Her first novel, The Namesake, published in 2003, made her one of the remarkable writers in the world. The Lowland, a novel published in 2013, has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Read More: What Does It Mean To Write About ‘Home’, Sitting In Home-Away Land?

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