My favorite author released her first non-fiction book last week. It is also the first time she has written a book in any other language besides English. She describes her love affair with Italian. Part of me was curious about the book, part of me was not, but I knew that if I were still myself – the curiosity would win out, and it did. I listened to Lahiri’s book on Sunday.
Why they have released In Other Words as a book, I’m not sure. It really read to me, more like a log – a diary. An, I’m undertaking a really difficult task and I want to remember how hard it was collection of reflections. When I first started to write, I used to set aside time and keep a log in addition to whatever I wrote. The really read like a log book.
The reason why I was able to finish it on Sunday is because half of the book is in Italian. And while it is beautiful to listen to – I don’t understand a word.
I think she could have made a contract with the New Yorker for a 5 – 10 article series and been ok, but I also think she really wanted to be able to say – I wrote a book in Italian! And she did. This is from my goodreads review –
If you’re a language teacher (which I used to be), I think you’ll be able to glean from it (and I did). If you are also a student of Italian or any other language, you’ll be able to relate on some counts, if you’re a fan, you might be a little torn as there is only one story and just a few personal anecdotes, but you might like it anyway. It is very well written.
I respect Lahiri, I’m glad she accomplished something she wanted to, and I’m glad to see how loving a language can change and inspire you. I miss her stories though. Temporary Matter, here I come…