Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, Vice Provost for University Libraries hosts our virtual book club exclusively for Loyal Blues.
You’ll have the opportunity to connect with alumni and friends, all while having an expert educator guide you through several books annually.
Jhumpa Lahiri broke ground in her critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize winning debut collection of nine short stories, Interpreter of Maladies. Following the lives of Indian and Indian-American families in a variety of settings, these stories transverse generations, continents, and cultures, exploring the family dynamics, love stories, adaptation to change, mutable sense of “home” and struggles with belonging that are common to all of us. Her rich descriptions offer a strikingly clear view of the lives of her characters, in all their nuance and poignancy.
I look forward to reading this collection with you all.
There is no cost to participate. Simply purchase a copy of the book and sign up below to receive emails. This title is available as an audiobook, though a variety of vendors as an eBook, and also through the Public Library through Overdrive. If you have trouble finding a copy, just let us know.
Once you've signed up, you will receive periodic emails to guide you through the reading period, which will run from July 20 until August 11. can also join our Facebook Forum to discuss the book and post questions. We'll conclude with an interactive online discussion with Evviva on August 11.
Please note the date change, our discussion of the book will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, August 11th at 5:30 p.m. est. You can access the discussion by clicking the button below.
2. In "Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine" what is meant by Lilia’s realization “...life, I realized, was being lived in Dacca first”? How else is this common migrant experience manifested? How does the author set up the contrast between life in Dacca and suburban New England?
3. Consider why Lahiri chose "Interpreter of Maladies" as the title story of the collection. Why do you think Mr. Kapasi finds Mrs. Das at first selfish and irresponsible, and then intoxicating? Why does this shift take place?
1. Lahiri has said, "As a storyteller, I'm aware that there are limitations in communication." How have you seen miscommunications and unsaid feelings shape the experiences of the characters in this collection?
2. What do you think causes Boori Ma in “A Real Durwan” to lose her job and home at the apartment building?
3. For Mrs. Sen, "Everything is there" (that is, in India). Throughout this collection, what other instances of exile, estrangement, displacement, and marginality—both emotional and cultural-- did you find compelling?
2. What does "The Treatment of Bibi Haldar" suggest about class, poverty and social expectations?
3. Why do you think Lahiri chose to end with "The Third and Final Continent" and how do you think it differs from the other stories in the collection?
Have a book that you think might be interesting for the book club to read? Drop us a note and we'll add it to our list of recommendations.