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Jhumpa Lahiri

By

Jhumpa Lahiri

© Elena Seibert

Birth:

Jhumpa Lahiri was born on July 11, 1967, in London, England.

Jhumpa Lahiri's Background:

Though born in London, Jhumpa Lahiri, the daughter of Indian immigrants, moved to Rhode Island when she was three. She studied English Literature at Barnard College, and subsequently earned masters degrees in English, Comparative Literature, and Creative Writing, as well as a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies, from Boston University. Lahiri taught creative writing at both Boston University and The Rhode Island School of Design.

Jhumpa Lariri's Writing:

Jhumpa Lahiri won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Hemingway Award for Interpreter of Maladies, a 1999 collection of short stories she wrote while at Boston University. In 2003, she followed up with a novel, The Namesake, tracing the lives of a Bengali family who has emigrated to the United States. In her most recent book, Unaccustomed Earth, Lahiri returned to the short form in stories that followed the movements of people, who like her previous characters, were similarly uprooted.

Unaccustomed Earth takes its title from a Nathaniel Hawthorne quotation referring to the new soil in which children of immigrants sink their roots, and it very much describes the struggles of Lahiri's second generation American characters. Like in her earlier works, Lahiri also addresses themes of family, love, and loss, as well as the alienation inherent in the Indian-American immigrant experience.

Lahiri's 2013 novel, The Lowlandis an intimate story about the relationships between two brothers covering the period from 1943 when Subhash Mitra is born in Calcutta to the near present when he is an aging man living in Rhode Island. The Lowland, which was short-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, fulfills the promise that Lahiri showed in her early stories.

Work by Jhumpa Lahiri:

The Lowland (2013)
Unaccustomed Earth (2008)
The Namesake
Interpreter of Maladies (1999)

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