Review: Interpreter of Maladies

Posted: 16/08/2015 in book reviews, books
Tags: , ,

Interpreter of Maladies
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Content warnings: (these are all generalised since this is a collection of short stories) racism, mentions of war

Story by story:

A Temporary Matter – I had a feeling this one would end the way it did. I felt the distance between the couple while reading the story. And I truly feel for them for their baby being stillborn. And I feel like their nightly dinner conversations during their blackout was closure for both of them.

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine – This was a very interesting story. About how immigrants into America can feel isolated. Especially from the rest of the world and the world they knew. It was kind of sad but ultimately very happy for me.

Interpreter of Maladies – Entitled white family goes on holiday to India. That is the summation of this story. And the one that made me feel like beating my head repeatedly into a wall. But at least there wasn’t the fetishisation of different cultures like if someone else had written it (ie: a white American male).

A Real Durwan – This was sad to read. In the sense of she did what she could and then when she felt like she wasn’t useful anymore she did things that made her happy and then got accused of shit she had nothing to do with. It reminds me a lot of the saying/quote of “No one notices how hard I’m working but they all notice when I’m not” (that I’m not sure who it’s by but I see it a lot on graphics on facebook).

Sexy – I’m not big on stories about infidelity. I’m really not. And a lot of that has to do with the fact I’ve been cheated on. But I highly identified with the “other woman” in this in how she feels largely unnoticed until one day. And know how easy it is to get swept away. Oh and creepy implications of paedophilia.

Mrs. Sen’s – This felt familiar. Like I’ve read this story specifically or one that was really similar to it. The whole time of reading it was like déjà vu. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it.

This Blessed House – This felt creepy to me. If I moved into a house and was discovering all these weird Christian mementos and stuff I wouldn’t be excited about finding them. I’d be creeped out. Like someone was trying to forcibly convert me into having religion.

The Treatment of Bibi Haldar – Story of a woman who has epileptic type syndromes and seizures whose family finds her a burden and keeps her isolated in a cramped space who the community helps take care of because her family is portrayed as a bunch of uncaring assholes. Now, this may be an interpretation based on differences in culture. Or time period (as it’s not specified what time period it’s set in) but it is my interpretation of it.

The Third and Final Continent – This felt like another kind of story that I’m really sick of seeing. The “look how great, awesome, and amazing America is” type of story from people who move here that makes me want to gag. It was good. But definitely my least favourite of the collection of stories.

Buy it here:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble

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