Guggenheim Fellowship, Author, Poet, Jhumpa Lahiri

6 02 2009

arar01_jhumpa_lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London and raised in Rhode Island. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and author of two previous books. Her debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award and The New Yorker Debut of the Year.

Her novel The Namesake was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and was selected as one of the best books of the year by USA Today and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications.

Jhumpa’s real name is Nilanjana Sudeshna. When Jhumpa began kindergarten in Kingston, Lahiri’s teacher decided Nilanjana  was too difficult to pronounce and decided to call her by her pet name, Jhumpa.

She recalls,

“I always felt so embarrassed by my name […] You feel like you’re causing someone pain just by being who you are.”

Lahiri’s ambivalence over her identity was the inspiration for the ambivalence of Gogol, the protagonist of her novel The Namesake, over his unusual name. Lahiri graduated from South Kingstown High School, and received her B.A. in English literature from Barnard College in 1989.

Lahiri then received multiple degrees from Boston University: an M.A. in English, an M.A. in Creative Writing, an M.A. in Comparative Literature and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies. She took up a fellowship at Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center, which lasted for the next two years (1997–1998). Lahiri taught creative writing at Boston University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

In 2001, Lahiri married Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, a journalist who was then Deputy Editor of TIME Latin America (and is now executive editor of El Diario/La Prenda, New York’s largest Spanish daily and America’s fastest growing newspaper). Lahiri lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two children, Octavio (b. 2002) and Noor (b. 2005)

As a popular young writer of Indian background, Lahiri is a representative figure for non-immigrant Americans who do not fully understand what it means to straddle the line between two cultures. Jhumpa Lahiri admits:

“I’m lucky that I’m between two worlds…I don’t really know what a distinct South Asian identity means. I don’t think about that when I write, I just try to bring a person to life.”

All these factors are what add to Lahiri’s popularity. Her poignant attitude is what draws her readers in and keeps them wanting more. Interestingly, with all the energy and intrigue her cultural status brings, she conveys it in a real way that her audience can learn from and understand. One of the main reasons for Lahiri’s success as a writer is because she writes for herself. She doesn’t have critics or peers in mind when writing; she just writes.

Lahiri is also able to draw her readers into the story not only through her detail but also by making them feel the emotional, physical, and mental needs of the characters. All nine of the stories in Interpreter of Maladies focus on the characters’ inability to communicate with people who are important in their lives. She continues her story by plotting her “motif of exclusion, loneliness, and search for fulfillment” (Mandal 18) as the central issue.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s career has just begun, one can only imagine what creative works she will stun the public with next.

Source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jhumpa_Lahiri

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One response

22 10 2009
vipul hariyani

i could have been your immediate fan when i picked your book recommended by someone but i got dissapointed as the book starts wit mothers death . nothing can be more negative than thatand i am such a positive person that i hate what starts with negative. please convince me what was your compulsion to start with such a bang and is your novel giving positive effect letter on because only than few more people can read.dony be offended and please reply yourself sso that i can become your best fan (pankha bandh mat karna )

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