Jhumpa Lahiri receives National Humanities Medal
US President Barrack Obama awarded the prestigious National Humanities Medal to American-Indian writer, Jhumpa Lahiri at the East-room of the White-House in the U.S. The medal was presented in recognition of her "beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging" which highlight the "Indian-American experience." Lahiri's parents and family were present at the event along with luminaries from the field of arts and humanities.
Jhumpa Lahiri was born with the name of Nilanjana Sudeshna Lahiri but became popular by her nick-name Jhumpa!
Jhumpa Lahiri was born on 11 July 1967 to Bengali parents residing in London. She grew up in Kingston Rhode Islands in United-States as her family shifted there when she was two. She graduated from South Kingston high-school and acquired B.A in English Literature from Bernard College in 1989. She later acquired multiple post-graduate degrees from Boston University and completed her Ph.D in Rennaissance-studies.
In 2001, Jhumpa Lahiri married Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush who is the senior editor of TIME Latin America.
After facing innumerable rejection from publishers for her early short-stories, her first short story collection "Interpreter of Maladies" was finally published in 1999. The book sold over 600,000 copies and won the the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction in 2000. Her first novel, "The Namesake" came out in 2003. In 2008, her second-collection of short-stories, "Unaccustomed Earth" featured first on New-York-Times Bestseller List upon publication.
In March 2007, a film adaptation of the novel "The Namesake" was released. It was directed by Mira Nair featuring Kal Penn, Tabu and Irrfan Khan. Lahiri had made a cameo in the film as "aunt Jhumpa".
Lahiri had published a number of fiction as well as non-fiction short-stories in the New Yorker Magazine. Since 2005, she has been a Vice-President of PEN American Centre. In 2010, she was appointed as a member of the Committee on the Arts and Humanities. In 2013, her second novel, "The Lowland" was shortlisted for the Man-Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction.
Jhumpa Lahiri won $50,000 prize for DSC Award for South-Asian fiction for her novel, "The Lowland". She beat four shortlisted writers to bag the prize. The judges praised the novel revolving around the naxalite uprisings of 1960s by saying that it is "a superb novel written in restrained prose with moments of true lyricism" written "by a writer at the height of her powers".