Wednesday, May 12th • Online
Live • 6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET • $40
In conversation with Michael F. Moore
A marvelous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies—her first in nearly a decade.
Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. The woman at the center wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The city she calls home, an engaging backdrop to her days, acts as a confidant: the sidewalks around her house, parks, bridges, piazzas, streets, stores, coffee bars. We follow her to the pool she frequents and to the train station that sometimes leads her to her mother, mired in a desperate solitude after her father's untimely death. In addition to colleagues at work, where she never quite feels at ease, she has girl friends, guy friends, and "him," a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. But in the arc of a year, as one season gives way to the next, transformation awaits. One day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun's vital heat, her perspective will change. This is the first novel she has written in Italian and translated into English. It brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.
Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of four works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland; and a work of nonfiction, In Other Words. She has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; the PEN/Hemingway Award; the PEN/Malamud Award; the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award; the Premio Gregor von Rezzori; the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; a 2014 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama; and the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia, for In altre parole.
Michael F. Moore has recently completed a multi-year project of translating the great Italian novel, The Betrothed, by Alessandro Manzoni, into American English (NY: Modern Library, 2022). His published translations range across genres, from modern classics to contemporary fiction and nonfiction, including, most recently: The Drowned and the Saved, by Primo Levi; Agostino, by Alberto Moravia; Quiet Chaos, by Sandro Veronesi; and Live Bait, by Fabio Genovesi. He is currently working on a new translation of Moravia’s short story collection, Rome Tales. For many years Michael served as the chair of the PEN Translation Committee and, subsequently, as the Chair of the Advisory Board of the PEN/Heim Translation Grant. Recognition of his work includes an NEA Translation Grant, the first translator-in-residence at Princeton University, and a fellowship at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy.
Jhumpa Lahiri photo by Elena Seibert; Michael F. Moore photo courtesy of author