“In Other Words” by Jhumpa Lahiri has a special history behind it. Written solely in Italian, the author’s adopted language, it is a result of her self-imposed exile from English. For a long time, over two years, she did not read and write in English. What’s more, she shifted to Rome from the United States for some period so that she could have Italian all around her.
Once you know the intense passion for Italian that she harbours, you can appreciate the book and read it with a different understanding. Written as a narrative memoir of sorts, with two fiction pieces gently incorporated inside, the book gives readers a glimpse into the mind, heart and soul of a very famous writer grappling with the intricacies of expressing herself in a foreign language.
Anyone interested in the nuances of language and expression will find this a book they can easily identify with. It reveals the interactions of the passionate mind with a foreign language and how it struggles but ultimately triumphantly adopts the new language. Beautifully written and simple to understand, this is a book that will surely strike a chord in your heart.