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.
"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 ReviewsMost Helpful
By Snuggle mum on 01-04-16
A pleasant read
A vivid book from a talented author. I bought this in error while searching for another book of hers. I was caught out just as I was when I read it years ago, it's short stories!
It would be helpful if the stories were clearly delineated in this audio book as the transitions weren't always clear.
The performance was clear and I wouldn't mind hearing this reading in some other books if appropriate. However I found her American accent very distracting and somewhat annoying especially when reading stories set in India. I have never heard an American story in an Indian accent so I found this equally as ridiculous. Without being stereotypical I feel a better selection should have been made.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jennifer on 03-06-07
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.
37 of 38 people found this review helpful
By Sheri on 30-06-09
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.
48 of 51 people found this review helpful