Jhumpa Lahiri on Novels & Short Stories

Indian-American writer Jhumpa Lahiri is a joy to read.

We enjoyed reading Namesake. And we thoroughly enjoyed watching the eponymous movie starring Irrfan Khan and Tabu.

Jhumpa, who lives in Brooklyn, has now come out with her new collection of short stories Unaccustomed Earth.

Today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has an interview with Jhumpa.

Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ interview:

I love stories. But I don’t distinguish so much between a short story and a novel. Personally, when I sit down to read a novel or a Chekhov story I’m seeking the same thing: I’m seeking that same rich portrayal of life in words. What I do find frustrating, having written another collection, is this idea that people don’t regard short-story collections as substantial. They think of them as a chocolate box, an assorted thing. You present it, and readers can say, I like that one, that was my favorite, I like the orange cream. Whereas with a novel I think they regard it more as a thing of substance, an entrée, if you will, they don’t pick it apart in terms of the mashed potato part of it and the peas and the meat part, it’s all this thing in concert. It’s not something I can control. I’ve written the book and that’s it.

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