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In Other Words

In Other Words

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Pages: 256

Edition: Hardcover

List Price: $26.95

Published: Feb, 2016

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 9781101875551

Highest rank: #8 on 13th, Feb 2016

First entered: 13th, Feb 2016

Number of weeks: 3

Book Summary

National Best Seller

From the best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, a powerful nonfiction debut—an “honest, engaging, and very moving account of a writer searching for herself in words.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story—of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery always eluded her.

Seeking full immersion, she decides to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. There, she begins to read, and to write—initially in her journal—solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.

Presented in a dual-language format, this is a wholly original book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Vladimir Nabokov: a startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.


Jhumpa Lahiri

Name: Jhumpa Lahiri

Hometown: London (England)

Born: Jul, 1967

About the author:

Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London and brought up in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Brought up in America by a mother who wanted to raise her children to be Indian, she learned about her Bengali heritage from an early age.

Lahiri graduated from South Kingstown High School and later received her B.A. in English literature from Barnard College in 1989. She then received multiple degrees from Boston University: an M.A. in English, an M.A. in Creative Writing, an M.A. in Comparative Literature and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies. She took up a fellowship at Provincetown's Fine Arts Work Center, which lasted for the next two years (1997-1998).

In 2001, she married Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, a journalist who was then Deputy Editor of TIME Latin America. Lahiri currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. She has been a Vice President of the PEN American Center since 2005.

Lahiri taught creative writing at Boston University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Much of her short fiction concerns the lives of Indian-Americans, particularly Bengalis.

She received the following awards, among others:
1999 - PEN/Hemingway Award (Best Fiction Debut of the Year) for "Interpreter of Maladies";
2000 - The New Yorker's Best Debut of the Year for "Interpreter of Maladies";
2000 - Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her debut Interpreter of Maladies

Ann Goldstein

Name: Ann Goldstein

About the author:

Ann Goldstein has been working as a translator from Italian for over fifteen years. Her first published translation appeared in The New Yorker in 1992: Aldo Buzzi's essay "Checkov in Sondrio." Just one year later, her translation of Aldo Buzzi's 1994 collection Journey to the Land of Flies and Other Travels received the PEN Renato Poggioli Prize. She has also translated works by Roberto Calasso, Serena Vitale, Alessandro Baricco, and Pope John Paul II. In 2007 alone, she translated Alessandro Piperno's The Worst Intentions (Europa Ed.), and Antonio Monda's Do You Believe? (Vintage); and she edited and wrote an introduction for A Tranquil Star (Norton), a collection of seventeen stories by Primo Levi--nine of which she translated--that had never appeared in English before. During her Guggenheim term, she will be working on a translation of the complete works of Primo Levi.

Ms. Goldstein earned a B.A. in literature from Bennington College in 1971, and then studied comparative philology at University College, London, before joining the staff of The New Yorker as a proofreader and copyeditor in 1974. She was promoted to editor and head of the copy department in 1987, positions she has held ever since. In that capacity, she has worked with John Updike, Roger Angell, Janet Malcolm, Adam Gopnik, and Simon Schama, among other noted writers. In addition to her Guggenheim Fellowship, she has been a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy twice (1995, 2006) and a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome twice (1993-94, 2002).

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