Posts By: Shilpa Reddy

Jhumpa Lahiri in Indiana

When I was seventeen, I read Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake and finally felt understood.  Like many children of immigrant parents, I was never sure what to make of my identity.  Indians my age called me out when I tried to ignore it, claiming that I didn’t care about the country that nurtured my parents.  When I gave it my full attention, I felt close-minded and not myself.  After reading The Namesake, I thought through and wrote about these issues in ways I hadn’t before.  I kept a response to the book tucked inside the pages.

At this age, a life without Jhumpa Lahiri would be a completely different life.  Two days ago, I drove up from Bloomington to Indianapolis to see her talk, feeling reluctant the entire drive.  Her writing has affected me in such intimate ways and I consider her my favorite author, yet, I didn’t want to see her.  Over the past year, I’ve began to take writing more seriously and as a developing writer trying to find stories to tell, I’ve distanced myself from her.  Whenever I reference a story of hers and try to write my own, I know that she snatches my pen from me and writes with her own voice.   Read more…