“In Other Words” is a memoir written by the acclaimed author Jhumpa Lahiri. The book was originally published in 2015 in Italian under the title “In altre parole.” It was later translated into English by Ann Goldstein and published in 2016.
The memoir chronicles Jhumpa Lahiri’s personal and literary journey as she embarks on a profound exploration of the Italian language and culture. Lahiri, who is of Indian descent and was born in the United States, had already achieved considerable success as a writer in English, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her debut short story collection, “Interpreter of Maladies.”
Feeling a deep connection to Italy and its language, Lahiri decides to immerse herself fully in the study of Italian, making it her new literary passion. The memoir delves into her experiences as she moves to Rome with her family, determined to learn and live in the language she has come to love. She grapples with the challenges of learning a new language, both the linguistic aspects and the emotional and cultural implications of becoming fluent in another tongue.
Throughout “In Other Words,” Lahiri reflects on her identity as a writer and the relationship between language and self-expression. She explores how her voice and writing style are transformed when she writes in Italian, and how her immersion in the language affects her perceptions and understanding of the world around her.
The memoir is a deeply introspective and lyrical account of Lahiri’s linguistic and personal journey. It beautifully captures the complexities of language acquisition, the joys of linguistic discovery, and the sense of displacement and transformation that come with adopting a new language and culture.
“In Other Words” is a departure from Lahiri’s earlier works, as it marks her first foray into writing in a language other than English. The book received critical acclaim for its elegant prose and heartfelt exploration of the multilayered relationship between language, self, and creativity. It is a captivating read for anyone interested in languages, cultural identity, and the art of writing.