Interpreter of Maladies

  • by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Narrated by Matilda Novak
  • 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2000
With accomplished precision and gentle eloquence, Jhumpa Lahiri traces the crosscurrents set in motion when immigrants, expatriates, and their children arrive, quite literally, at a cultural divide. The nine stories in this stunning debut collection unerringly chart the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations.A blackout forces a young Indian American couple to make confessions that unravel their tattered domestic peace. An Indian-American girl recognizes her cultural identity during a Halloween celebration while the Pakastani civil war rages on television in the background. A latchkey kid with a single working mother finds affinity with a woman from Calcutta. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession.
Imbued with the sensual details of Indian culture, these stories speak with passion and wisdom to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner. Like the interpreter of the title story, Lahiri translates between the strict traditions of her ancestors and a baffling new world.

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What the Critics Say

"Moving and authoritative pictures of culture shock and displaced identity." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The crystalline writing in the nine stories of this Pulitzer Prize-winning debut collection dazzles. These sensitive explorations of the lives of Indian immigrants and expatriates touch on universal themes, making them at once specific and broad in their appeal. Narrator Matilda Novak's light voice is fine for stories written by a young woman, and the hint of melody in her reading is typical of Indian voices." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Novel-amazing; Audio-mediocre

The stories in this book were amazing. They gave such a beautiful view into the Indian culture. I longed to know the sense of community and comraderie that the author makes so integral a part of these stories. As the stories ended I was sad to end my relationship with the well-drawn and intriguing characters.

The reason I rated this audiobook only 3 stars was not the novel itself, but the narration and production of the audio. I found the narrator's style to be distracting and at times downright annoying. Short interludes of music separated the book into equal sections, but this distracted from the flow of the novel because they often came in the middle of a story and at times in the middle of a character conversation.

Dispite the poor quality of the audio production, I would recommend this novel for its wonderful characterizations and fascinating stories.
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- Jennifer

skip it

Since there are so many reviews of the book itself, I will review the narration of the audio version.

First, I was distracted by the narrator's style. Her odd, unnatural, and often nasal enunciation of words was annoying. The amaturish and undulating style of her reading the sentences made me wonder if the author picked a friend or family member who wanted to break into the business. This narrator has no business doing this work. Additionally, the narrator certainly did not capture the emotions of the characters.

Secondly, the producers decided to add music to signify the ending of one "chapter" and the beginning of antoher. However, the chapters in the audio version did not coincide with the stories in the book. The music breaks only served to separate the book in to 6 equal parts, which was in the middle of a story.

While the narrator did read at a decent pace, the up and down vocalizations, the inability to capture sentimental or sad emotions and her odd enunciations made this narration one to skip.
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- Sheri

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-29-2007
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books