Sunday, April 20, 2008

Jhumpa Shines with Second Book of Short Stories

Believe it or not, thou untrusting soul, our own cultural ambassador of Bong culture, the interpreter of Bong angst and articulation Jhumpa Lahiri is making waves with her second collection of short stories: 'Unaccustomed Earth'. This is what Times Book Review has to say (TBR - New York Times):

'There are not a lot of surprises, week in and week out, at the upper reaches of the Times fiction bestseller list. But occasionally a comet lands and flattens the forest, sending the usual critters running. That happens this week as Jhumpa Lahiri’s second story collection, 'Unaccustomed Earth,' makes its debut at No. 1. It’s hard to remember the last serious, well-written work of fiction, particularly a book of stories, that leapt straight to No. 1; it’s a powerful demonstration of Lahiri’s newfound commercial clout. The critics, of course, have been with her since the beginning. (Lahiri’s first collection, 'Interpreter of Maladies,' won a Pulitzer in 2000.) 'Unaccustomed Earth' was reviewed on our cover a few weeks ago, though it’s possible Lahiri never saw it. She recently told an online interviewer for The Atlantic Monthly that whenever she has a new book out, her husband secretly throws away the Times Book Review section lest she stumble upon the review. When her first book was published, she said, 'I read everything. It was like the first baby — you take a million pictures and each moment is so special.' These days, she said, 'I feel more vulnerable. With this book I decided not to look at anything at all.''

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