I have so many books to read and several on my short list. Of course, my short list is now quite long but since it is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, I've wanted to read Jhumpa Lahiri's collection of short stories, 'The Interpreter of Maladies' for some time now and I finally got to it.

The stories are all based on characters from India living in America. She mentions Boston and streets well-known to me since this is where I was born and raised. The characters are often struggling to learn the ways of the new world and connecting with their new American neighbors on even the most superficial level. I was quite impressed with the attention to details when she was describing her characters' observations. For example, "...or pressed her face against Dev's fingers, intertwined with hers, each with its half-dozen hairs at the knuckle." Or "...lit a cigarette and began to smoke it with relish, waving it around Sanjeev's head as if it were a conductor's baton as Mahler's Fifth Symphony roared from the stereo downstairs." These descriptions bring vivid images to mind and in just a few words you are in the story. This is what I try to achieve with my own stories, as well.

Although the stories are all engaging and well-written, I don't see a huge difference between them and my own and feel that I still do not know how a collection of stories or a novel becomes Pulitzer Prize worthy.

I rate "Interpreter of Maladies" 4 out of 5 stars

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