In Other Words

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04National Best Seller

From the best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, an excellent nonfiction debut—an “honest, engaging, and incredibly moving account of the writer in search of herself in words.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

In Other Words is really a revelation. It is in the mind a love story—of your long and quite often difficult courtship, plus a passion that verges on obsession: that of the writer for an additional language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her within a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for countless years afterward, true mastery always eluded her.

Seeking full immersion, she decides to maneuver to Rome together with her family, for “a trial by fire, a kind of baptism” in a new language and world. There, she starts to read, and also to write—initially in the journal—solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work designed in Italian, investigates the entire process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of any writer seeking a different voice.

Presented inside a dual-language format, this is usually a wholly original book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written through an intensity and clarity not seen since Vladimir Nabokov: a startling act of self-reflection and also a provocative quest for belonging and reinvention.

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