Jhumpa Lahiri

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jhumpa Lahiri in 2015

Nilanjana Sudeshna "Jhumpa" Lahiri (born July 11, 1967) is an Indian-American novelist, short story writer, and Pulitzer Prize winner.


  • "My grandfather always says that's what books are for," Ashoke said, using the opportunity to open the volume in his hands. “To travel without moving an inch."
    • The Namesake, (2003) p. 16.
  • (What immigrant fiction has been the most important to you, both personally and as an inspiration for your own writing?) I don’t know what to make of the term “immigrant fiction.” Writers have always tended to write about the worlds they come from. And it just so happens that many writers originate from different parts of the world than the ones they end up living in, either by choice or by necessity or by circumstance, and therefore, write about those experiences. If certain books are to be termed immigrant fiction, what do we call the rest? Native fiction? Puritan fiction? This distinction doesn’t agree with me. Given the history of the United States, all American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction. Hawthorne writes about immigrants. So does Willa Cather. From the beginnings of literature, poets and writers have based their narratives on crossing borders, on wandering, on exile, on encounters beyond the familiar. The stranger is an archetype in epic poetry, in novels. The tension between alienation and assimilation has always been a basic theme.
  • yet I know that expressing oneself necessarily means being different. The writer's voice is a singular one, solitary. Art is nothing other than the freedom to express oneself in any language, in whatever manner, dressed any which way.
    • The Clothing of Books (2016)
  • Books come to stand for various episodes in our lives, for certain idealisms, follies of belief, moments of love. Along the way they accumulate our marks, our stains, our innocent abuses—they come to wear our experience of them on their covers and bindings like wrinkles on our skin.
    • The Clothing of Books (2016)
  • Surely it is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time. To conjure place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do.
    • quoted in Every Day a Word Surprises Me & Other Quotes by Writers by Phaidon (2018) with citation

Quotes about Jhumpa Lahiri[edit]

  • I'm amazed at how fast the interest has grown in writing in English by writers of South Asian origin, whether they're living in India, living in South Asia, or they are expatriate writers living here or immigrant American writers like Jhumpa Lahiri and me. The size of the community of such writers and the body of work produced has happened so fast.
    • 2007 interview in Conversations with Bharati Mukherjee Edited by Bradley C. Edwards (2009)

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: