Searching for Home: A Reader Response of Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies”


Jhumpa Lahiri was able to share with the world her first book, a collection of nine stories, Interpreter of Maladies, published in 1999. Growing up in America as well as her Indian heritage make her a genuinely interpreter of themes such as, cultural multiplicity, memory of homeland, the search for identity and the sense of belonging. Lahiri received the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for Interpreter of Maladies. Ever since Interpreter of Maladies was published, she has been variously proclaimed to an American writer and an Indian American author. Her writings are described as diaspora fiction by many Indian scholars and immigrant fiction by American critics. Thus, it can be said that Lahiri's fiction is a unique addition to the existing Asian American Literature. This paper focuses on the psychological sense of home. It exposes the sense of home from different perspectives as it appears in various short stories. The study relates the psychological home concept to literature in relation to human relationships and to the sense of place. We pose several questions in our efforts to study the sense of home in Lahiri's selected short stories: Does psychological home have any significance in the well-being? How does making a physical surrounding home-like benefit someone? How does an immigrant make a house a home? What is the difference between physical and spiritual sense of home? All these questions are going to be answered through the analysis of Lahiri's A Temporary Matter, When Mr. Pirzada , and Mrs. Sens.

Author Information
Shaden Adel Nasser, Ain Shams University, Egypt

Paper Information
Conference: LibrAsia2015
Stream: Literature - Asian Literature

This paper is part of the LibrAsia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon