Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 123: Spring of Success, Jhumpa Lahiri (“A Temporary Matter”)

1 Comment

We’re back with our second installment of the Spring of Success, in which we teach you how to break through the world’s literal and figurative slush piles and become a superstar! Ok, we can’t really do that, but we can speculate wildly about how various authors found success. This week: Jhumpa Lahiri, whose first collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, won a Pulitzer Prize. Had it come out several years later, it surely would’ve gotten its author on lots of “writers to watch” listicles.Jhumpa_Lahiri_(2015)

Also this week, we talk about people who sold their souls to the devil to achieve success. And evangelical Christians who think nearly all famous people are satanists.

Finally, we attempt to have a real conversation about race, and some of the ways we hear writers talking about it. That conversation could go on for hours, and we’re sure we only scratched the surface. If you want to add your opinion, leave a comment here on the site, shoot us an email, or hit is up on social media. We’re on Twitter and Facebook these days.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. We’re also in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts.


Download Episode 123 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

One thought on “Episode 123: Spring of Success, Jhumpa Lahiri (“A Temporary Matter”)

  1. I was so excited when I saw you were talking about a Jhumpa Lahiri story; thank you for choosing it. If I recall correctly (I listened to the episode a few days ago), there was a bit of uncertainty about how many books Lahiri has published. Usually you guys are good about checking Wikipedia or Googling during the episode, but I don’t think you went that far in this case. Isn’t it lucky that you have devoted listeners who can inform you (and occasionally correct you!) about these kinds of things?

    Her second book was a novel called The Namesake, which I believe was also adapted into a movie. I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed it, but I never did see the film. Her third book was another story collection called Unaccustomed Earth. The stories are longer and more complex than those in Interpreter of Maladies, and I found them just amazing. I listened to the audiobook twice. I wrote a short review of it on my blog at: I’m not trying to promote my blog since I stink at posting regularly (okay, I’m promoting my blog a very tiny little bit), I’m mainly recommending that you try some of the stories in Unaccustomed Earth at some future point when you can squeeze them into your reading rotation. The review on my blog just gives a little more detail about the stories.

    Lahiri has published two other books that I know of, which I sadly haven’t read yet: a second novel called The Lowland, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Man Booker; and a new book called In Other Words, about her love of the Italian language, which she actually wrote in Italian. (It was translated into English by Ann Goldstein, who also translates Elena Ferrante.)

    Sorry to go on so long, but I see the Comment Box as basically just an invitation to type. 😉

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