Jhumpa Lahiri: Best quotes at Jaipur Literature Festival 2014

Jhumpa Lahiri’s debut in the Jaipur Literature Festival was received with much enthusiasm by the audience and the Festival itself! She participated in two sessions, ‘The Global Novel’ and the ‘The Interpreter of Stories’, where we got the opportunity to see this renowned author in person, and to learn of her, through her own words!  Here are some of the things Jhumpa Lahiri said during these sessions that we found most inspiring:

  • “We’re all human and in that we fail.”
  • “Every one of you out there has a secret, I know it. We all do.”
  • “You should know one or two secrets your character has in order to know your character.”
  • “Fiction is the only way I know a human being can inhabit the mind of another human being.”
  • “I never felt that Bengali was fully mine and I never felt that English was fully mine either.”
  • “Translation continues to be the force that creates global readership.”
  • “The power should lie with the readers.”
  • “A writer has to true to him or herself. Period. That’s it!”
  • “We are all humans and we all make mistakes. We hurt people even if we don’t want to.”
  • “We work out of our limitations as I say, as people, as artists.”
  • “Nostalgia is a very interesting thing. You don’t want too much of it.”
  • “With any death a person lost becomes present in many ways.”
  • “My next book is a linguistic autobiography – my process of learning Italian”
  • “I think that secrets interest me as a writer. Everyone of us have secrets. That creates an interesting tension.”
  • “We are all humans and we all make mistakes. We hurt people even if we don’t want to.”
  • “Gauri is the centre of gravity for The Lowland. She makes disturbing choices and a lot of mistakes.”
  • “I didn’t have an objective when I was writing the lowland. Someone asked me, “Why are you writing this book?” That made me rethink.”

Jhumpa Lahiri’s words on literature and life, the globalization of a novel, and the complex conflict yet resolution between and in languages, left us inspired, yet craving for more!

The Penguin India Blog

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