The Book of Awesome Women Writers author Becca Anderson has written a blog post on the extraordinary life and career of Jhumpa Lahiri.
Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London in 1967 to Bengali parents, but her family moved to the US when she was three. Her father became a librarian at the University of Rhode Island. Because her mother wanted her children to grow up aware of their cultural heritage, the family often traveled to visit relatives in Calcutta. Her experiences with both cultures led to a conflicted sense of identity, which became grist for her literary mill. Her fiction, which tends to be autobiographical, draws on her experiences as well as those of her relatives and friends, exploring the range of dilemmas facing Indian-Americans. She received a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, and went on to earn several degrees from Boston University; a master’s in English, an MFA in creative writing, a master’s in Comparative Literature, and a doctorate in Renaissance Studies. In addition to her writings in English, she has produced both fiction and nonfiction in Italian, and in 2015, she declared that she would only be writing in that language from that time forward.
Lahiri received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002; her debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies (1999), was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/ Hemingway Award, and a New Yorker Debut of the Year award. Her novel The Namesake (2003) was a New York Times Notable Book and was selected as one of the best books of the year by USA Today and Entertainment Weekly. She has been a professor of creative writing at Princeton University since 2015; in 2019, she was named the director of Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing, succeeding American Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. When not teaching in the United States, she lives in Rome.
Medieval Mystics, Pioneering Poets, Fierce Feminists and First Ladies of Literature (Feminist Book, Gift for Women, Gift for Writers)
This one-of-a-kind tome takes a tour with Sylvia Beach and other booksellers as well as librarians, editors, writers, bibliophiles, and celebrated book clubs. Join women’s studies scholar Anders as she takes you on a ribald ride through the pages of history. Chapter titles include “Prolific Pens” (including Joyce Carol Oates, author of over 100 books), “Mystics, Memoirists and Madwomen”, “Salons and Neosalons”, “Ink in Their Veins” (literary dynasties), and the titillating “Banned, Blacklisted, and Arrested.”