Jhumpa Lahiri does Malgudi Days

Narayan Days is Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri‘s review of Malgudi Days, that R.K.Narayan work that we Indian’s have come to love. The review introduces you (if you are unfamiliar) to Malgudi, and if you have read the book, reading the review will bring back fond memories.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of R.K. Narayan’s birth, here is one way I propose that you read his Malgudi Days: one story per day for 32 consecutive days, by the end of which you will have experienced Malgudi Days as a Malgudi month, more or less. Each day’s reading, with only a few exceptions, will take about ten minutes. The vast majority of the stories are less than ten pages long; several are under five; and only one is more than 20. “What a fine idea,” you are perhaps thinking. “Ten minutes a day: I can manage that.” And if you are the type of virtuous person who is satisfied after just one piece of chocolate from a chocolate box, never tempted, until the following day, by a second, then perhaps you will be able to savor Malgudi Days in this restrained fashion.

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5 Responses to Jhumpa Lahiri does Malgudi Days

  1. Jammu says:

    I haven’t liked Jhumpa’s books. Too distant and light on character sketches. However, her articles and rewviews are great.

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  3. I agree with you on Lahiri’s characters, even though I love Lahiri’s prose. I gobbled up The Namesake. But I was disappointed with Gogol/Nikhil’s own confusion over his name, and the narrator’s confusion over it, as well. Does Gogol/Nikhil himself prefer “Gogol”, or not?

    The narrator clearly prefers Gogol, since he/she refers to him by that name throughout, even after he legally changes it. Gogol/Nikhil has clear affection for his original name, since he never insists upon Nikhil, even after he legally becomes Nikhil. Why the confusion? Both names are western, so it’s hard to see either of them as a symbol of his Indian heritage. For me, this confusion marrs the story, since it leaves Gogol/Nikhil himself vague as a character. All of the female characters are more better defined, less ambiguous.

  4. psasidhar says:

    Here is an article on Narayan that appeared in New Yorker last week.

    The master of Malgudi

    Check it out soon. I am not sure for how long it will be available online.

  5. Chandra Shekhar Sharma says:

    Lahiri is a voice of those oscilliatating between two cultures. Lahiri’s 2nd gen. characters are confused hence it never becomes clear that what name does junior Ganguly likes. Her fiction is blended with the confused sentiments of the ABCDs. But her other writings are crystal clear and simple. If any one comes across any writing pleases let me know; I am required to have her all writings and this is the worst with her that her writings are not available. I tried to contact her but her agent says she declines. SHHHHHHHHHT. How can on ework on an author who prevents from any contact.