Friday, September 8, 2023
Sunday, September 3, 2023
Thursday, August 31, 2023
Interpreter of Maladies, originally published in 1999, won the Pulitzer Prize 2000. I listened to it in 2009. At the time, I was a new to short stories, but a frequent participant in the old "Short Story Monday" weekly blogging linkup where I primarily posted about classic short stories. This was likely one of the first contemporary collections I'd ever read.
The stories that stayed with me were "A Temporary Matter," "Interpreter of Maladies," and "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine."
I've gone on to read Lahiri's other story collection, Unaccustomed Earth, and a couple of her novels. Rereading an early work, even a Pulitzer Prize winning early work, emphasized just how much Lahiri has grown as a writer over the years. Looking over her backlist, I never read The Lowland novel. Maybe I'll pick it up while waiting for her new collection, Roman Stories, coming in October.
Have you read Jhumpa Lahiri?
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Sunday, August 13, 2023
Friday, August 11, 2023
Spanning decades and continents, from 1960s Vietnam to the wild swamplands of the Florida coast, Banyan Moon is a stunning and deeply moving story of mothers and daughters, the things we inherit, and the lives we choose to make out of that inheritance.
Banyan Moon opens as Minh's granddaughter, Ann Tran, attends a party with her longterm boyfriend at the home of his wealthy white parents. Soon the story shifts to Florida and the Banyan House, where Ann spent her childhood with her mother, Huong, and grandmother. Chapters alternate between Ann, Huong, and Mihn's perspectives.
Thao Thai's writing is beautiful and the book pulled me in right away... it kept me turning the pages, too. I was expecting historical fiction and thought I'd learn more about life in Vietnam. While there is enough historical detail for the reader to understand the older generations, I would definitely classify the novel as a family drama rather than historical fiction.
Shortly after I began reading, my audiobook hold arrived and it became a read/listen combination. The audio version was excellent! I love multi-narrator productions and this one certainly enhanced my overall reading experience.
MMD hosts a virtual author talk for each selection. It's always interesting to hear the author speak, but yesterday's chat with Thao Thai was especially memorable. It added to my understanding and appreciation of Banyan Moon. I'm already looking forward to her next novel.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫