Cover blurb: In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story – of a long and difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language.
Jhumpa Lahiri, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, chose to move to Italy with her family. She immersed herself in the country, in the language, and then chose to write this book about her journey. She wrote it in Italian, her third language. She grew up in India, her native tongue Bengali. Her parents brought her to America and she learned English, becoming a scholar and award winning writer. But she always loved Italian and wanted to immerse herself in the language. Do you comprehend how difficult that is to do as an adult? To dabble in a new language is one thing. To learn it well enough to write a book in it is another. In turn, her original Italian version of this book was translated back to English by Ann Goldstein, a respected translator. Wow.
If you love words, writing, language, linguistics, learning, scholarship, perseverance, and more – then In Other Words is for you. I’ve always loved Lahiri’s writing – it’s quite lyrical and smooth. Her characters are rich and well developed. In this case, working in non-fiction memoir, her character is flawed and frustrated. She writes of her doubts as she tackles this project. She recognizes the risk she takes to put these words to paper – questions the quality. But she climbs the mountain of words, and while still aware of her baby steps, is proud to share the struggle.
Any writer will appreciate In Other Words – the writing, the process, the constant need to check a dictionary, the constant pruning and cajoling needed to finish a thought.
And you’ll want to travel to Italy….. Pronto