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The Lovely Lahiri

Do a quick Google search for Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Hemingway Award-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri, and some remarkable results pop up. First, there are the names of her books – her latest, Unaccustomed Earth, and then Interpreter of Maladies, the short-story collection that made the London-born, Rhode Island-raised author of Indian descent a literary superstar. Third result in the search: “Jhumpa Lahiri interview.” Sounds interesting, but nowhere near as interesting as the fourth: “Jhumpa Lahiri sexy.” What a great suggestion, Googlemeisters! Jhumpa Lahiri is sexy. Indeed. And for all the right reasons.

It’s still quite common for the back cover of a critically acclaimed novel to display the countenance of a gargoyle, so it’s notable to find an author who is equally talented and beautiful. Lahiri captures the dual existence of Eastern culture, and the particular pains of assimilation into American identity, with sharp, aching prose that leaves aspiring writers envious of her effortlessly amazing turns of phrase. For readers who are new to her magical world, we were being just the slightest bit facetious: “Sexy” is also the title of one of Lahiri’s most acclaimed stories. It’s also an apt description for her storytelling skills, which will be on display at her reading and book signing tonight at 8 at Books & Books.
Mon., April 7, 8 p.m., 2008


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