Jhumpa Lahiri

Join us on Thursday, November 21 at 6:00pm in Gamble Auditorium at Mount Holyoke College for the 2019 Valentine Giamatti Lecture from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and translator Jhumpa Lahiri, editor of The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories.

This event is organized by the Mount Holyoke College Italian Department and co-sponsored by Odyssey Bookshop. It is free and open to the public.

About the Book

A landmark collection of stories—nearly half appearing in English for the first time--selected and introduced by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, who now lives in Italy and reads exclusively in Italian

A Penguin Classics Hardcover


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.

About the Author

Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of four works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The NamesakeUnaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, and the National Book Award. She has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; the PEN/Hemingway Award; the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award; the Premio Gregor von Rezzori; the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; a 2014 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama; and the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia for In Other Words, her memoir about learning Italian. She was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature for her translation from the Italian of Domenico Starnone's novel Trick.

About the Valentine Giamatti Lecture

The Valentine Giamatti Lecture has been given since the late-1980s in honor of Dante scholar Valentine Giamatti, a professor of Italian at Mount Holyoke for more than 30 years. Past Giamatti speakers include authors Amara Lakhous (2017), Jhumpa Lahiri (2016) and Carmine Abate (2015), Dacia Maraini (2014), and journalist Lucia Annunziata (2012).

Event date: 
Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College
50 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories (A Penguin Classics Hardcover) Cover Image
By Jhumpa Lahiri (Editor), Jhumpa Lahiri (Introduction by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780241299838
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - September 10th, 2019

Author Photo: 
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