Jhumpa Lahiri - "Whereabouts" - Jennifer Scappettone

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri will discuss Whereabouts. She will be joined in conversation by Jennifer Scappettone.

Presented in partnership with Chicago Humanities Festival

Virtual Event


About the book: Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. Lahiri’s narrator, a woman questioning her place in the world, wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. Among those who appear on this woman’s path are colleagues with whom she feels ill at ease, casual acquaintances, and “him,” a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. Until one day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun’s vital heat, her perspective will abruptly change. This is the first novel Lahiri has written in Italian and translated into English. Whereabouts, brimming with the impulse to cross barriers, signals a bold shift of style and sensibility. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.

About the author: Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of five works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, The Lowland, and her latest Whereabouts. She is also the author of a work of nonfiction, In Other Words. Lahiri has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; the PEN/Hemingway Award; the PEN/Malamud Award; the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award; the Premio Gregor von Rezzori; the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; a 2014 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama; and the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia, for In altre parole.

About the interlocutor: Jennifer Scappettone is a poet, translator and scholar working at the crossroads of these practices. She is the author of the critical study Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice and of two poetry collections that have been widely anthologized, translated, and engaged by critics. An Associate Professor of English, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Chicago and Visiting Professor at the Université Gustave Eiffel, she is currently completing a manuscript titled Poetry After Barbarism: Fascism, the Abracadabrant Word, and the Invention of a Motherless Tongue.

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