Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jhumpa Lahiri: What The Story Prize Judges Had to Say

That's Jhumpa Lahiri at the intermission to The Story Prize event on March 4. To her left and mostly obscured is fellow finalist Tobias Wolff. She was brilliant in conversation and provided the audience with interesting insights into her work during our onstage conversation. Here's what one of the judges had to say about Lahiri's exceptional short story collection Unaccustomed Earth:
“In what is only her second book of stories, Jhumpa Lahiri masterfully tells tales of people in today’s globalized, extended world. She depicts their efforts to discern the links of family, of love, both in the moment and over time and place. There is an assurance in these narratives, paced almost leisurely, yet carrying in many places those quickened moments when life or the perception of life is altered forever. The narrative perspectives themselves vary—third-person, first-, second- —in ways that make this feel like a volume of many voices. The interplay of characters who carry life with caution with those who act out of impulse or recklessness, and where it leads everyone, including the reader, is extraordinary.”