When Jhumpa Lahiri decided to read exclusively in Italian, a language she had studied for many years, her life as a reader--and writer--took a surprising turn. Complete immersion in this rich literary heritage brought fresh insight and unexpected freedom. This collection brings together forty writers who have shaped her love of the Italian language and profound appreciation for its literature. More than half of the stories featured in this volume have been translated into English for the first time, and the wide-ranging selection includes well-known authors such as Italo Calvino, Elsa Morante, and Luigi Pirandello alongside many captivating rediscoveries. Poets, journalists, visual artists, musicians, editors, critics, teachers, scientists, politicians, translators: the writers that inhabit these pages represent a dynamic cross-section of Italian society. Together they reflect more than a hundred years of Italy's vibrant and diverse short-story tradition, their powerful voices resonating through regional landscapes, private passions, and the dramatic political events of the twentieth century.
Nilanjana Sudeshna "Jhumpa" Lahiri (born July 11, 1967) is an American author known for her short stories, novels and essays in English, and, more recently, in Italian. Her debut collection of short-stories Interpreter of Maladies (1999) won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into the popular film of the same name. Her first novel, "The Namesake", was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and was made into a major motion picture. Unaccustomed Earth (2008) won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, while her second novel, The Lowland (2013), was a finalist for both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction. On January 22, 2015, Lahiri won the USD 50,000 DSC Prize for Literature for The Lowland In these works, Lahiri explored the Indian-immigrant experience in America. In 2011, Lahiri moved to Rome, Italy and has since then published two books of essays, and in 2018, published her first novel in Italian called Dove mi trovo and also compiled, edited and translated the Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories which consists of 40 Italian short stories written by 40 different Italian writers. She has also translated some of her own writings and those of other authors from Italian into English.