one of my favorite authors of all time is jhumpa lahiri. as a writer, she is the epitome of genius. she is, in my opinion, one of the best contemporary writers. of course, i’m not the only one who thinks this; she has received a million (or a trillion – not sure) awards for her writing – one of them being the pulitzer prize for fiction. on top of the accolades she has already received, i wanted to add my own words of praise for her writing capabilities as i’m sure she would feel honored.
i have two main reasons for loving her writing so much (aside from the fact that her short stories are simply amazing). number 1: lahiri’s words seamlessly knit together the two very disparate cultures in which she was raised. number 2: as an author, she has harnessed the power of invisibility. lahiri has the ability to disappear in her writing; as you read any story she has written, you’ll find that you completely forget her existence. you feel like a front-row observer in the life of her characters – no middle man. you don’t ever wince at her word choices or her grammar, you don’t wish she had taken the story in a different direction (no matter how difficult the direction is to accept) and, in the end, you certainly don’t feel “taken for a ride”. lahiri vanishes into thin air and only the truth/reality of her characters remain. she will rarely give you a happy ending and that’s what makes her stories so drastically human and real. i admire that kind of honest writing. obviously, she has to be genius-level in her vocabulary, word-usage and sentence construction in order to achieve this but, like i said, i think she will go down as one of “the greats” of our time.
i would also like to thank her for the fact that i can actually understand her writing and am able to say i love one of “the greats” as opposed to when i’ve read authors such as tolstoy or bronte and have been left completely in the dark…mostly because i only know 3 words out of each sentence – and usually they are pronouns.
i do have one pet-peeve about her though…
she is gorgeous. and that’s just unfair. i’ve always believed great authors are supposed to be fairly “ill-favored”. i mean, God gave them the gift of writing and so the gift of beauty should go to someone who needs it…it’s not supposed to be used as a “cherry on top”. the only time i can accept talented people being beautiful is when they are dancers, singers or actors – that i can understand (and besides, the more good-looking they are the less talented they tend to be). other than that, if you are somehow gifted at something – i’m sorry, but you should be ugly. no question.
ps – my spell/grammar checker seems to think i often use a “passive voice”. and to that i say – Shut Up. how’s that for passive?