14 May, 2021

Hark, The Inner Drums

A promising debut, welcomed with excitement abroad

Hark, The Inner Drums
The title of this collection of short stories was inspired by a real-life character-a young man translating for a doctor with a large number of Russian patients who found it difficult to explain their ailments in English.

Many of the characters in these stories suffer from afflictions of a different kind-they are unable to communicate their doubts, hopes and emotional pain to others, especially those closest to them. In her debut collection, author Jhumpa Lahiri's sought to be their interpreter.

She's certainly not the first to delve into the experience of Indians living in America-their relations with one another, their colleagues and neighbours in the local community, and with the country they left behind.

But her depiction of characters and her superb storytelling skills make for engaging reading. You're drawn at once to the sheer humanness of these souls, recognising in their sorrows, joys, expectations, and dilemmas some of your own. The opening story, A Temporary Matter, is the most moving and showcases the best of Lahiri's...

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