The short story collection entitled Interpreter of Maladies is a powerful novel featuring characters caught between cultures, families and often identities. Jhumpa Lahiri as the writer and omniscient observer sympathises with the plight of such characters, having felt herself a sense of identity crisis.
The collection won a pulitzer prize and I believe that it is firmly deserved. The prose is powerfully moving and emotional providing insight into how culture, or a lack of, influences individuals.
I personally found however that I could not relate to many of the instances described within the book interesting and beautifully written as the stories were. I have never been an ex-patriot, I have never truly suffered through identity crisis and I have no firm grasp of cultures as Lahiri depicts them.
The tales within, however, are beautifully and elaborately constructed and deserve much applause. Lahiri clearly has a firm grasp of language when she can place words together in sentences like: "Her soliloquies mawkish, her sentiments maudlin, malaise dripped like a fever from her pores." Perhaps if the tales within had mirrored my own circumstances or had struck me with greater emotional depth then I may have enjoyed this collection all the more. But that is my personal sentiment.