In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri | LJ Review

LJ's review of Jhumpa Lahiri's In Other Words
51WnsrzEh6L._SX315_BO1,204,203,200___1461261516_61315redstarLahiri, Jhumpa. In Other Words. Knopf. 2016. 256p. tr. from Italian by Ann Goldstein. ISBN 9781101875551. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101875568. LIT Lahiri (creative writing, Princeton Univ.) is internationally renowned for her novels The Namesake and The Lowland, her Pulitzer Prize–winning story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, and other writings. This new memoir, which the author wrote in Italian, is a great surprise. There’s a second surprise, too: the English translation, here presented opposite the Italian, on every recto, by Goldstein (a New Yorker editor who has translated Elena Ferrante and Primo Levi, among others). The book is a series of journal entries that meditate upon Lahiri’s frustrations and joys while learning Italian, and her growing desire to use that language only. It delves deeply into the author’s relationship with languages generally—as the American-raised daughter of Indian immigrants, her Italian experiment is not the first time she’s been caught between two linguistic worlds, accepted by neither. Students of other languages will nod in recognition as Lahiri describes her growing hostility toward English, a tongue she begins to find “overbearing, domineering, full of itself.” VERDICT This unusual memoir is a must for language learners exploring their motivations; it will also resonate with Lahiri’s fans and other literary fiction lovers. [See Prepub Alert, 8/24/15.]—Henrietta Verma, formerly with Library Journal This review was published in Library Journal's April 15, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35 percent off the regular subscription rate.  

No Comments to this Article. Be the first user to comment.




Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.