by Jhumpa Lahiri - £9.99 Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2017)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781408866139 | ISBN 10: 1408866137
In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterwards, true mastery had always eluded her.
Seeking full immersion, she decided to move to Rome with her family, for 'a trial by fire, a sort of baptism' into a new language and world. There, she began to read and to write – initially in her journal – solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.
Presented in a dual-language format, this is a wholly original book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Vladimir Nabokov: a startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.
(Price & availability last checked: March 2017)
In booklists: Italy, Women Writers and Women in Literature, World Languages, Writers and Poet's Lives and Works, In categories: World - Europe, Feminism & Women, Poetry & Writing, Education, History & Biography,