(Photo Credit: Elena Seibert/Random House)
NAME: Jhumpa Lahiri
WHO SHE IS: Jhumpa Lahir is a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of two short story collections (Unaccustomed Earth and Interpreter of Maladies) as well as two novels (The Namesake: A Novel, and her most recent, The Lowland, which was published in September 2013). Her simplicity of storytelling has earned Lahiri accolade upon accolade. The Lowland was a nominee for The Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction, and Lahiri serves on President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: So many other writers — particularly writers of South Asian heritage – lay the metaphors on thick and try to impress with dazzling language and complex turn of phrase, but Lahiri’s work is the writing equivalent of a perfect Picasso; a few strokes of genius on a blank sheet — and voila. Her understated, modest persona is an inspiration to any writer (this one included), published or aspiring.