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Friday, June 19, 2015

Jhumpa Lahiri, In Altre Parole

In front of a fountain in Trastevere
(photo: Liana Miuccio in Vogue)
no copyright infringement intended

In 2012 Jhumpa Lahiri changed Brooklyn for Trastevere and English for Italian. She explained several times how it happened and why. Born in London to Indian parents, raised and educated in America, she felt the tension between two cultures and two languages, between the Indian and American values and traditions. Two radically different universes, each one claiming preponderance over her mind and soul. All her books describe in subtle nuances this tension. She felt the need to escape from this conflict, to get her liberty, to become free of the universes fighting each other inside her. She came to Italy, and started to speak only Italian, read only in Italian, write only in Italian, and felt liberated. A way to reinvent herself as a person and as a writer, and also to take a great risk, to use her own words. How well is she speaking Italian? Fluently, though with a too dense bibliophile touch, and with some accent difficult for Italians to guess the origin. It works, anyway.

In Altre Parole is her first book written in Italian, a collection of revealing autobiographical essays, mostly about her experience with Italian language and culture, a book that grew out of her diary entries (Rachel Donadio in NY Times).

Here are several links to find more about all this:

(Jhumpa Lahiri)



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