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Jhumpa Lahiri Biography

Jhumpa Lahiri Vourvoulias was born as Nilanjana Sudeshna in 1967. Born in London in July 1967 and brought up in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, she won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in the year 2000 for her book “Interpreter Of Maladies”.

The first Asian to do so. An Indian American author of Bengali origin, she did her Bachelors in English literature, following it up an M.A. in English, an M.A. in Creative Writing, an M.A. in Comparative Literature and finally a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies. She was at Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center during 1997-1998 on a fellowship. She tied the nuptial knot with Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, a journalist in 2001.

Jhumpa taught creative writing at Boston University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Her debut book, “Interpreter of Maladies” looks into issues concerning the lives of Indians or Indian immigrants. Her second book “The Namesake” was published in 2003. A film, the Namesake has been released based on the novel by the same name starring Kal Penn.

She has bagged a number of awards. In 1993, she received the TransAtlantic Award from the Henfield Foundation, the O. Henry Award for short story “Interpreter of Maladies” in 1999, the PEN/Hemingway Award (Best Fiction Debut of the Year) for “Interpreter of Maladies” in 2000, The New Yorker’s Best Debut of the Year for “Interpreter of Maladies” and the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2000 besides the coveted Pulitzer prize. In May 2000, her story “The Third and Final Continent” published in a summer 1999 fiction issue of The New Yorker was one of three stories that fetched the magazine a National Magazine Award for Fiction.


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