Jhumpa Lahiri is an American author known for her short stories, novels and essays in English. Jhumpa Lahiri is a contemporary American author of Bengali descent. She is well-known for her novel, Namesake. 

Jhumpa Lahiri Early Life

  • Jhumpa Lahiri original name Nilanjana Sudeshna was born on July 11, 1967 in London, England and brought up in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. 
  • Lahiri’s mother wanted her children to grow up knowing their Bengali heritage. Her family often visited relatives in Calcutta.
  • When she began kindergarten in Kingston, Rhode Island, Lahiri’s teacher decided to call her by her pet name, Jhumpa, because it was easier to pronounce than her “proper name”.

Jhumpa Lahiri Education

  • Lahiri graduated from South Kingstown High School. Later she received B.A. in English literature from Barnard College of Columbia University in 1989.
  • Later she received multiple degrees from the Boston University: an MA in English, an MA in Creative Writing, and an MA in Comparative Literature with a PhD in Renaissance Studies.
  • She took up a fellowship at Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Centre, which lasted for the next two years (1997–1998). 
  • In 2001, she married Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, a journalist who was then Deputy Editor of Time Latin America. Lahiri currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. 

Jhumpa Lahiri Pulitzer Prize

  • Lahiri’s early short stories faced rejection from publishers “for years”. In 1999, she finally released her debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies.
  • Her debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Soon publisher translated her books into twenty-nine languages and became a bestseller both in the United States and abroad. 
Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri
  • In addition to the Pulitzer, it received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Addison Metcalf Award, and a nomination for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Jhumpa Lahiri Books

  • In 2003, Lahiri published her first novel, The Namesake. The theme and plot of this story was influenced in part by a family story she heard growing up.
  • Adopted from her first novel, a movie, Namesake has also released in 2006 in the United States and United Kingdom. It is directed by Mira Nair and a screenplay adapted from Lahiri’s novel by Sooni Taraporevala. 
  • In September 2013, Man Booker Prize committee placed her novel The Lowland on the shortlist, which ultimately Eleanor Catton won.
  • Later in December 2015, Lahiri published a non-fiction essay called “Teach Yourself Italian” in The New Yorker about her experience learning Italian. 
  • In the essay she declared that she will now only writing in Italian, and translated the essay from Italian to English.

Jhumpa Lahiri Awards

  • In February 2010, US president appointed her a member of the committee on the Arts and Humanities. Later U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Lahiri is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. 
  • The following month it was also longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction, and revealed to be a finalist on October 16, 2013. 
  • In 2014, she won DSC prize for South Asian Literature for The Lowlands. She also won National Humanities Medal in the same year.

Jhumpa Lahiri Writing Style

  • The stories’ themes include marital difficulties, miscarriages, and the disconnection between first and second generation immigrants in the United States. 
  • Jhumpa Lahiri is an author who creates characters that evoke a form of powerful pathos from the reader.
  • Jhumpa Lahiri develops what is termed as a “middle style” of writing in this story. Writer use this style to entertain the reader with a more complex style through the use of figurative writing tools such as metaphors and imagery.
  • The description of the setting and the physical actions of the character speaks volumes about the character and the situation.

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